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.

Is Stephen Flynn’s seat really at risk from Labour?

In public, Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour party is all humility. Starmer might currently be heading towards a general election landslide victory but the line is consistent: The party’s taking nothing for granted. Privately? Well, one of two of the party’s candidates and strategists might concede they expect things to go rather well for them on

How the SNP broke Holyrood

Twenty-five years have passed since the opening of the Scottish parliament and the issue of just how well devolution is working is a rather awkward one for the current SNP-led government. This week, both the Scottish Conservative and Scottish Labour parties have made entirely clear that reform is needed. Labour believes that Scottish mayors might

The legacy of devolution – 25 years on

Winnie Ewing, SNP royalty – Madame Écosse to those who had served alongside her in the European Parliament – opened proceedings with a song in her voice and a twinkle in her eye. ‘The Scottish Parliament,’ said the oldest of its new members, ‘adjourned on 25th day of March in the year 1707, is hereby

The vindication of Kate Forbes

So much for Scotland being the home of ‘radical’ progressive politics.  After almost two decades of the Scottish National party saying that Scots are fundamentally different to their neighbours – wiser, more compassionate, just generally better – the party now reckons Scottish voters might just share the same priorities as those south of the border. 

Will John Swinney end the SNP’s war on business?

Accepting the leadership of the SNP on Monday, John Swinney said his political priority as Scotland’s seventh First Minister would be the eradication of child poverty. If he is sincere in his desire to achieve this ambition, then Scotland’s economic growth – just 0.2 per cent last year – needs be a great deal better.

Humza Yousaf’s biggest mistake

A word of advice for anyone with ambitions to hold high political office: if you think you might ever need the assistance of your opponents, don’t allow your party to repeatedly abuse them. This wisdom comes too late for it to be of use to Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf, who has accepted the inevitable

Humza Yousaf and his ridiculous, feigned outrage

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf is a politician with two settings. If he’s being asked about a difficult issue – the Police Scotland investigation into SNP finances, for example, or his government’s failure to deliver its policies – he does a reasonable approximation of sincerity, all soft voice and sad eyes. You can see the

Humza Yousaf owes Joanna Cherry an apology

Following the publication last week of Dr Hilary Cass’s review of gender services provided by the NHS, politicians rushed to insert themselves on the right side of the debate. For many, this meant quite dizzying displays of reverse-ferreting. After years of dismissing the concerns of medical experts, parents and feminist campaigners about treatments such as

Humza Yousaf is failing to further the independence cause

When Nicola Sturgeon stepped down as leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland a year ago, she said she’d reached the conclusion that she could no further advance the cause of independence. It was time for a new leader with new ideas to energise the campaign to break up the United Kingdom. Responsibility

Humza Yousaf’s first year has been a disaster

When Nicola Sturgeon stepped down as First Minister of Scotland a year ago, she said she’d reached the conclusion that she could no further advance the cause of independence. It was time for a new leader with new ideas to energise the campaign to break up the United Kingdom. Responsibility for invigorating the separatist movement

The undoing of Professor Jason Leitch

Jason Leitch was a calm, reassuring presence in his almost daily TV appearances during the pandemic. But after an unedifying evidence session at the UK Covid Inquiry and revelations that Leitch deleted his Covid WhatsApps, the reputation of the national clinical director is in tatters. Now, he has announced his departure from his Scottish government

The SNP’s North Sea hypocrisy

The Labour party has run into trouble in Scotland. It is planning to both raise and extend the windfall tax on the oil and gas sector, and industry chiefs aren’t happy. It’s an issue that is steadily gathering momentum and could prove damaging to the party’s chances north of the border. Last week, the Press

Nicola Sturgeon is the SNP’s biggest liability

A year ago today, Nicola Sturgeon announced her resignation as SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland. The consensus was that her departure from the political frontline would be a blow to both her party and the wider Scottish independence movement. After almost nine years as First Minister, Sturgeon left office as a dominant figure

Michael Matheson’s iPad scandal has tarnished the SNP

When the Scottish health secretary’s inevitable resignation came, there was no apology, no recognition that he had done anything wrong. Michael Matheson quit with all the arrogance we’ve come to expect from SNP politicians, jumping ship on Thursday morning before the findings of an investigation into his expenses claims were published. After it emerged last

What’s going on with Nicola Sturgeon’s memory?

Nicola Sturgeon’s memory is a fascinating and frustrating thing. At times, the former First Minister of Scotland’s powers of recall are quite remarkable. No detail escapes Sturgeonian examination, no nuance goes unnoticed. On other occasions, it fails her completely. Take her appearance, in March 2021, before a committee of MSPs investigating the Scottish government’s handling

Is the SNP changing its tune on free university places?

The SNP’s much trumpeted policy of free university tuition allows ‘radicals’ to indulge their fantasies of Scotland as a fair and compassionate country. Nationalist politicians sell the scheme as a way of opening up higher education to those who might previously have been priced out of post-school study. The reality is that the wealthiest are

The SNP’s strange relationship with ‘full transparency’

The SNP makes quite the fuss of its dedication to openness and transparency from political leaders. Voters deserve to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about those in power. And woe betide anyone who dares not to adhere to this principle. Take former prime minister, Boris Johnson, for example. During

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