The power of the lairds, burnt into the Scottish collective consciousness by the horror of the Clearances in the 18th and 19th centuries, lives on.
NICOLA Sturgeon is a politician who evidently believes the best form of defence is attack.
STRATHCLYDE University is a fine higher education institution with an excellent record in research and teaching.
WE are still a month from the general election and the formation of the next government, but Nicola Sturgeon has already shown she can make Whitehall dance to her tune.
The decision by Police Scotland chief constable Stephen House not to seek a second term was inevitable.
THE record 3000 delegates filling a cavernous hall at the SEC were the most visible audience for Nicola Sturgeon's speech to the SNP conference yesterday, but not the only one.
AFTER decades of campaigning, the decision to hold a public inquiry into what has been dubbed the biggest treatment disaster in the history of the NHS was welcomed by the victims who were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood.
IT'S a big number, but also a big sign.
By common consent, the last Labour Government had a questionable record on protecting civil liberties.
IT seems idiotic statements are all the rage these days - politically speaking.
IT is a new film telling the story of one of Scotland's most famous historical characters with a strong Scottish team behind it.
WITH only two months until the general election, a welcome realism is entering the proceedings.
THE world's 80 richest people earn as much as the 3.5 billion who make up the lower-earning half of the Earth's population.
JIM Murphy is nothing if not energetic.
When the Scottish Government backed plans for a single police force, sound arguments were made that the then Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was pushing through a dangerous policy.
SPOT the villain: Google, Starbucks, Vodafone, Amazon, alcoholics, drug addicts, fat people.
LIKE all truces, the agreement brokered in Minsk will only be seen as successful if the fighting actually stops today, if opposing forces are withdrawn and if there is a genuine commitment to a long-term political solution.
SAY what you like about him, you can always rely on Jim Murphy to give good nonsense.
The First Minister's intervention last week on stop and search, which forced Police Scotland to review its flagship crime policy, was welcome but long overdue.
SCOTLAND'S human rights record is good by international standards, but a black spot is threatening to tarnish the country's reputation.
Labour's new leader in Scotland, Jim Murphy, has done much to command the headlines recently with his interventions on fracking, top rate tax and rail nationalisation.
THERE has always been a touch of cognitive dissonance, when climate chaos is threatening, over the opening up of new fossil fuel frontiers.
THE Coalition command paper Scotland in the United Kingdom, which was published last week to deliver the pre-referendum vow on greater devolution, had a nicely ironic subtitle.
BARELY a week goes by in politics without someone testily demanding an official inquiry into this or that passing hiccup, requests that can be fairly tossed aside by Government ministers.
NOT in our name.
THE Westminster debate on the Lords organised by SNP MP Pete Wishart this week is a chance for some blunt talking about the second chamber.
THE death of Mario Cuomo, the former Democratic Governor of New York, at the age of 82 on New Year's Day, produced a slew of warm obituaries for the ever-quotable liberal politician.
AT this point last year, it all seemed so simple.
IT was a chance to prove he really did mean what he said.
THE rising number of Scots being forced to turn to foodbanks in order to be able to eat has provoked widespread anger.