John Ferry

John Ferry

John Ferry is a contributing editor for the think tank These Islands and a former financial journalist

The SNP’s catastrophic defeat is an opportunity for Scotland

Like the wider UK result, the SNP getting a hammering in yesterday’s general election was largely predicted by the polls. But this has not lessened the impact of seeing the many well-kent faces of high-profile former SNP MPs being given their marching orders by the Scottish electorate. One after another they fell, and with them

The SNP needs to come clean about rejoining the EU

John Swinney and his colleagues continuously claim Scotland ‘rejoining’ the EU is possible, and that by voting SNP we can make it happen. In this general election the SNP manifesto commits to ‘an independent Scotland in the EU.’ This is a perfect example of the way a comforting lie becomes more popular than an unpleasant

The flaw in the SNP’s plan to strengthen Scottish shipbuilding

The Scottish government under John Swinney and his deputy Kate Forbes could be on the verge of missing an opportunity to strengthen UK/Scottish shipbuilding while possibly failing islanders and the working communities of Glasgow’s Clyde area. This is according to the former head of Scotland’s nationalised shipyard, David Tydeman, who has decided to speak out.

Who’s to blame for Scotland’s ferry fiasco?

You wait eight-and-a-half years for someone to lose their job over the SNP’s ferries fiasco, then two sackings come at once. So which Scottish government minister has finally paid the price for a scandal that has left islanders without reliable ferry services, brought the Scottish government and its agencies into disrepute, and cost Scottish taxpayers hundreds of

The SNP’s star economist eviscerates the case for independence

He’s only gone and done it again. Mark Blyth, born in Dundee but now professor of international economics at the prestigious Brown University in the United States – the man who was wooed by the Scottish government to join its economic advisory council in 2021 in the obvious hope he would lend credibility (and maybe

Humza Yousaf fails to make the economic case for independence

Try to start a speech with a joke to warm up your audience. That’s always good advice. And so Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, began his speech at the London School of Economics this week by light-heartedly pointing out that the LSE might be a world-class institution but it only came fourth in a recent newspaper ranking

The Covid inquiry has damaged Sturgeon’s legacy beyond repair

If you thought senior Conservatives giving evidence to the UK Covid inquiry in London was rough then you should watch the footage now emerging from Edinburgh, where the Inquiry’s lawyers have moved to take evidence. It’s a bloodbath. Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon and current first minister Humza Yousaf are yet to even take the

Tax changes are another reason the SNP needs to go

Much of the speculation in the build-up to the Scottish budget yesterday focused on the possibility of the introduction of yet another new income tax band for the well off. And So it came to pass. Speaking at Holyrood yesterday afternoon, Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary Shona Robison announced a new ‘advanced rate’ of

Why is the SNP trying to take control of Scotland’s legal system?

There have been extraordinary goings on at Holyrood this week – and I don’t mean more iPad-on-holiday revelations or sleazy claims two SNP politicians broke lockdown rules while having an affair. I’m referring to evidence put to the Scottish parliament’s equalities, human rights and civil justice committee on the Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill, which aims to

The SNP’s independence dream is on life support

The SNP Scottish government has brought out its latest fantasy paper on secession. Never mind the party’s nosediving popularity that could see the Nationalists kicked out of office in 2026. Or that your average Scot’s enthusiasm for another referendum is on a par with their eagerness for another bout of Covid. The dream shall never

The SNP conference was full of rampant misinformation

Picture the scene around a year from now. We’ve just had a general election. The SNP has gone from 48 MPs in 2019 to, say, 30. Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf announces he is starting the process of taking Scotland out of the UK in line with the policy his party adopted the previous year.

Has Humza Yousaf misled the Scottish parliament?

‘I will lead by example in adhering to this Code and knowing it is an incredible privilege to serve the people of Scotland. I know that Ministers will do likewise,’ is how First Minister, Humza Yousaf, ends the foreword to the latest edition of the Scottish Ministerial Code, published in July.   Just a couple of months later

The SNP ferry fiasco has become even more of a disaster

In retrospect, the computerised boat in the movie Titanic looked more believable than the one Nicola Sturgeon stood in front of the day she ‘launched’ the Glen Sannox ferry, almost six years ago. With its famously painted on windows and oddly delicate looking bulbous bow – one of many parts subsequently replaced as it was

Even high oil revenues can’t fix Scotland’s deficit

It’s Scotland’s annual Gers shenanigans this week. If you don’t already know, Gers stands for ‘Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland’. It is an official Scottish government statistics report that provides an estimate of the total amount of government revenue raised in Scotland versus the total amount of public spending benefitting the country. The gap between

The FOI response that exposed the SNP’s EU delusion

Tony Blair famously regretted his government’s introduction of freedom of information laws. ‘You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it,’ he wrote in his memoirs. Blair complained that FOI is not used by ‘the people’

Why is Scotland’s civil service promoting SNP propaganda?

The SNP Scottish government has rolled out its latest paper on independence, this time focused on citizenship. Like others in the series (this is the fifth paper on secession in twelve months) it offers nothing new, goes big on fantasising about a future that won’t happen, and is completely removed from the day-to-day needs of

The Nato summit is a blow to the SNP’s nuclear plans

The Nato summit in Vilnius has been an eventful one already. Even though no clear timeline for when the country can join the group was given, Ukraine’s hopes of one day becoming a Nato member were given a boost. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has hailed proposals as ‘a strong package for Ukraine, and a clear

Humza Yousaf’s first 100 days

20 min listen

James Heale speaks to John Ferry and Iain Macwhirter about Humza Yousaf’s first 100 days in Holyrood. Plagued by Sturgeon’s arrest, does the Scottish First Minister’s future look bright?