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Published: May 12 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

The fathers of Scottish devolution came up with a system so complicated as to confuse even the most passionate observer and student of the political scene north of the border. There were three guiding principles • To preserve the best of the Westminster “first past the post” system, which provides a clear result and a named MP for a constituency • To ensure that those who voted for a party other than the winning party still had a chance or representation in the parliament (there is a second vote for list MPs in each constituency) • To make an overall majority government a rare occurrence – and it is this requirement that has caused the hideous complication!

Published: Jan 22 , 2015
Author: Robin Copland

Jim Murphy, the new leader of the Labour party in Scotland, was interviewed on the radio recently and the issue of unilateral nuclear disarmament was raised. By way of background, there has always been a body of opinion in the UK in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament, indeed, during the recent referendum debate in Scotland, the Scottish National Party, in favour of Scottish independence, insisted that, in the event that Scotland voted “Yes” for independence, she would become a “nuclear-free zone” as soon as possible...

Published: Sep 18 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

Publishing this on the day the Scottish population votes on Independence, we are no different from any of the other pundits - unable to forecast the result. But we can forecast that whatever the result the Scottish people will lose their ability to function truly as a democracy. This is because whichever side has the majority the result will be extremely close – 51/49, or 52/48 or something similar. In practical terms therefore about half of the population will getting exactly what they don’t want...

Published: Sep 11 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

On 18 September voters in Scotland will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The final push for votes comes as a YouGov poll run by the Sunday Times suggested that, of those who have made up their mind, 51% planned to back independence, while 49% intended to vote no. Looks like the vote is going to go to the wire...

Published: Aug 14 , 2014
Author: John McMillan

On September 18th, Scotland, part of the United Kingdom for 300 years, is holding a referendum on whether to split away from the rest of the UK and become an independent country. Assuming that there is a ‘Yes’ vote, the Scottish Government has a massive negotiating challenge ahead if it is to meet its self-imposed deadline of 24th March 2016; barely 18 months after the votes will be counted...

Published: Oct 14 , 2011
Author: Robin Copland

Moses. Lad! Hill walker; leader of men; stone carrier and, when it came to water, he surpassed even his own ambitious targets. Had he been born in Scotland in the twentieth century, he would have been a natural hydro-electric engineer. He would have found the twenty-first century quite interesting as well as we Scots have an Eleventh commandment to add to his original Ten. Thirty one per cent of our energy needs will be supplied by renewable resources in 2011 and 100% is the target by 2020. This has led to a huge wind turbine building programme all around the country...

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The Power of Adjournments

Anjana – a sales leader with an IT firm – is busy preparing for negotiations with a large bank on renewing her firm’s contract with them. Given it is a decent sized deal, Anjana has been preparing for these negotiations over the last several days by interlocking with the account delivery teams, getting buy-ins from the senior leadership & CFO on commercials, getting a handle on the likely strategies from the competition etc. It is no surprise, given the rigour of her preparation, that Anjana was feeling confident about her meeting with the Client CIO.

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