Daily Archives: May 10, 2011

I was so shocked by the rise of the Scottish National Party in last week’s elections that I have had to retreat to the Andes to get some perspective on the situation. I am writing this from an internet cafe in Cusco, once the Inca capital, in Peru. Perhaps, it is the high altitude or the benefit of distance, but I feel I am now seeing the situation in Scotland with new clarity. My view is that, even though the SNP now control the Scottish parliament and have promised a referendum on independence, Scotland will choose to remain part of the UK. Read more

If you spend time talking to western officials about the uprisings in the Arab world, you are likely to hear two contradictory views advanced – sometimes by the same person. The first view is that the “Arab spring” is, as one European diplomat puts it, “the best thing that has ever happened in my lifetime in the Arab world”. The second is that this is the most dangerous moment in the Arab world in decades.