The Councillor, the Newspaper and the Critic

At the end of 2016, the Scotsman newspaper announced that, to mark its bicentenary, it would enlist 200 amateur contributors to write at periodic intervals short articles about anything that interested them. I sent in two sample essays, and on 17 January received word that I was to join the Scotsman 200 group. My first article, ‘Two Referendums are Enough’, appeared on 6 February. My message was that ‘Momentous change requires unequivocal endorsement’. That is, a simple 50% + 1 of the vote was insufficient endorsement for major constitutional change, such as Scottish separatism or withdrawal from the EU. I did include some disobliging comments about Scottish nationalists and the way they treat those who disagree with them. This elicited a barrage of insulting tweets. QED. Nothing new there.

My next essay appeared on 9 March. It was called ‘Education Requires Effort from…

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