At the height of their power and influence before the recession, the big supermarkets looked unstoppable.
The launch of the SNP manifesto was yet another polished, confident performance by the party's leader Nicola Sturgeon.
We may still be in the midst of this year's general election campaign, but the opening shots of next year's Holyrood election have already been fired by the man who has everything to gain or lose when the 2016 election happens: the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy.
When the SNP came to power in 2007, it declared that it would clamp down on spending NHS resources on private healthcare and last year the then health secretary Alex Neil repeated the promise.
In a criminal court, a case must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, but the jury is still out on whether the Scottish Government's case for scrapping the corroboration rule has passed that level of test.
THE goal has been achieved.
HIGH art can sometimes refer to an elevation of 338ft.
In an age of multi-party politics, manifestos are academic exercises.
Clydesdale Bank has for some time looked like the bank where time stood still.
JAMES Patterson is a publishing phenomenon.
Scotland's young people are in a pessimistic mood.
THE past may be another country, as the novelist LP Hartley wrote, but it would be a tragedy if we refused to visit it.
Scotland's mental health services face much the same fundamental problem as our physical health services: insufficient resources at a time of rising demand.
When the mandatory 5p charge for plastic bags was introduced in October last year, the hope was that it would change behaviour in Scotland, as it has done already in Wales and Northern Ireland, but no one could have suspected how quickly and profoundly it would do so.
As election slogans go, it is hardly the sexiest or most memorable, but so proud are Labour of the phrase "Budget Responsibility Lock" that they have put it right at the front of their manifesto for 2015.