Brian Taylor, Political editor, Scotland

Brian Taylor Political editor, Scotland

This is where you can find my take on what's happening in the world of Scottish politics

It's a Question of Sport

  • 29 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland
andy murray

Tennis, anyone? Humphrey Bogart denied uttering these words while an aspiring thespian.

They are occasionally to be found in the oeuvre of P.G. Wodehouse, usually delivered by a young hopeful destined, you can just tell, to land in the soup pretty shortly.

But today that question echoed around Holyrood. Firstly, in the eyrie occupied by BBC Scotland. It was decided that we would stick with coverage of Andy Murray's gallant efforts in Melbourne. Questions to the First Minister would have to wait.

The alternative scenario would have involved me, smiling courageously to hide my fear, interrupting what proved to be the final set to redirect viewers to the Scottish Parliament. Aye, right. We recorded FMQ, commentary included, and broadcast it to an astonished nation as soon as Andy had claimed his rightful place in the final.

But the tennis question had also occurred to our leaders. Resorting to Twitter, Ruth Davidson mused about the choice facing her. Should she prepare for First Minister's Questions, honing those barbs. Or should she watch the tennis?

Collective skive

Read full article It's a Question of Sport

Party leaders jostle for attention

  • 22 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland
David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon
David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon met in Edinburgh, but there is still disagreement over the issue of more powers

The chancellor has forecast "tax competition" as a consequence of the new powers being devolved to Scotland.

Today we had competition of a different kind as sundry political leaders jostled for attention.

Read full article Party leaders jostle for attention

Time to talk money

  • 21 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland

Let us talk money. The sums contained within the draft Scottish budget.

And the sundry sums which are diverted to Scotland, via the Barnett Formula, as a consequence of expenditure in England.

Read full article Time to talk money

Daring to cross the presiding officer

  • 20 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland
Tricia Marwick
Tricia Marwick was not in a mood for smiling at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday

It is never difficult, according to PG Wodehouse, to tell the difference between a ray of sunshine and a Scotsman with a grievance.

Had Plum been in the press gallery at Holyrood today, he would undoubtedly have extended his comments to the female of the species.

Read full article Daring to cross the presiding officer

Not Holyrood's finest hour

  • 15 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland

Willie Rennie made a decidedly salient point.

Oil workers in Aberdeen who were about to lose their jobs would be "appalled" by what they had witnessed at Holyrood.

Read full article Not Holyrood's finest hour

Important diary dates to savour

  • 13 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland
Haggis, neeps and tatties
A taste of politics is being added to Scottish celebrations for historic Scottish events

It is the time of year, is it not, for staging points in the calendar. Christmas and Hogmanay. Before that, St Andrew's Night. And, later this month, Burns Night.

Those latter two gained added significance this season. They were selected, with due symbolism, as the target dates for the publication of the Smith Commission report and, subsequently, attendant draft clauses.

Read full article Important diary dates to savour

From a different vintage point

  • 8 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland
scottish parliament opening 1999
For some, the opening of the Scottish Parliament is a bit more fresh in the memory than for others

It is, I suppose, a question of perspective. Tomorrow I reach a certain milestone. (Clue: the former first minister Alex Salmond is a full nine days older than me - as I never tire of reminding him.)

For me, that means that events from the 1980s and 1990s seem relatively fresh - while the issues that have arisen since the advent of the Scottish Parliament still appear starkly recent.

Read full article From a different vintage point

The north/south divide of UK politics

  • 7 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland
Sign

Seldom has the disjuncture in politics, north and south of the Border, been more evident than in the controversy which has attended Jim Murphy's comments about using a "mansion tax" to hire nurses in Scotland.

To be clear, there is nothing particularly extraordinary in the actual content of Mr Murphy's suggestion.

Read full article The north/south divide of UK politics

It's time for a political bean-feast

  • 5 January 2015
  • From the section Scotland
Box
How does a General Election grab you?

Got your decorations down for Twelfth Night yet? What next, now that we are done with the festive season? How does a General Election campaign suit you?

OK, there's no need for that sort of language - just because you're back at work, the weather is gloomy and Dundee United seem congenitally incapable of winning two consecutive games (although Ne'erday was magnificent.)

Read full article It's time for a political bean-feast

Confident but not flawless

So how did she do? Not at all bad, for starters. She seemed reasonably confident, she picked a topical and highly relevant subject and she pursued her narrative through to its scheduled conclusion.

We are talking of Kezia Dugdale, she who deputises for Jim Murphy at the top of Scottish Labour.

Read full article Confident but not flawless

More Correspondents

  • Douglas Fraser, Business and economy editor, Scotland Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Money and business matters from a Scottish perspective


  • Nick Robinson, Political editor Nick Robinson Political editor

    The latest on what’s going on in and around politics


  • David Cornock, Parliamentary correspondent, Wales David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

    Welsh view of Westminster, the personalities and Parliament


About Brian

Brian has been a journalist for ever, well, since 1977.

He covers politics in all of its guises - UK, European but mostly Scottish.

Before joining the BBC he spent six years as a lobby correspondent at Westminster.

He has lectured on politics and identity across Europe and the USA and has written two books - and co-written a handful of others.

At St Andrews University, he studied literature.

He is a proud, patriotic Dundonian and fanatical supporter of Dundee United Football Club, losing no opportunity to trumpet their many glories.

He is married with two sons.

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