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

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.

For now, Mr Murphy lacks a Holyrood seat so it falls to Ms Dugdale to put the case for her party in questioning the first minister.

In response, Nicola Sturgeon was at her most consensual - which, no doubt, is a source of exasperation to her interrogators.

There they are, all set to assume their most indignant stance - and she pre-empts them with a smile and an offer of talks.

Read full article Confident but not flawless

Shaking off the habit of losing

  • 15 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Jim Murphy and supporters

Those who were there liked it. Rather a lot, it would seem, although audience reaction is not an entirely reliable guide in these shallow days.

Presumably those who harbour doubts about Jim Murphy's leadership of Scottish Labour stayed away. Certainly, there was no sign of Johann Lamont - and no mention of her either.

Read full article Shaking off the habit of losing

The cost of gathering winter fuel

  • 11 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland

Christmas, eh? The Festive Season. Time for jollity. Time for turkey, pudding and presents. Time for mistletoe and wine - and sundry other Yuletide hits.

Time, for too many of our fellow citizens, to choose between heating and eating.

Read full article The cost of gathering winter fuel

How to love yourself

  • 4 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Neil Findlay
Neil Findlay (seen here on the left) appeared to praise himself in a press release (below)

Finally, the unvarnished truth. A statement from a senior politician, shorn of spin, devoid of manipulation. The hero in question? Labour's Neil Findlay.

Earlier this week, the MSP issued a confident news release, informing an astonished nation: "Neil Findlay praises Neil Findlay's huge contribution."

Read full article How to love yourself

When it's time to pack your bags

  • 27 November 2014
  • From the section Scotland

The room was crowded, the atmosphere intense, the focus complete.

The décor was minimal, with rough, half-finished plaster on the walls. The toilers, the scribes, appeared not to notice.

Read full article When it's time to pack your bags

Balancing act for Nicola Sturgeon's government programme

  • 26 November 2014
  • From the section Scotland
nicola sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon said in advance - not least at the SNP conference - that her aim was to balance the search for social justice with pursuing economic growth.

She said again today in presenting her Programme for Government that she wanted to achieve "participation, prosperity and fairness".

Read full article Balancing act for Nicola Sturgeon's government programme

Congratulations and commiserations

  • 21 November 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Scottish cabinet

Congratulations to the new ministerial team: the new deputy first minister, those promoted to cabinet, those given a new portfolio, those staying where they are, those joining the government for the very first time.

Perhaps a special word might be reserved for Maureen Watt who returns to public office after tholing a deliberative spell on the back benches.

Read full article Congratulations and commiserations

Are Holyrood's ding dong days over?

  • 20 November 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Leslie Phillips
Will Holyrood in future see much "ding dong", as actor Leslie Phillips would put it?

And then the questions start. Part of the joys of government. The first one confronting Nicola Sturgeon?

Do you, "solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that you will well and truly serve Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, in the office of first minister of the Scottish government?".

Read full article Are Holyrood's ding dong days over?

A family affair

  • 19 November 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon's family was at Holyrood to see Ms Sturgeon become first minister

In office as first minister, Nicola Sturgeon will not be short of advice.

From the civil service, from her colleagues, from the public, from her friends and family. She noted that she would be happy to draw on the well of expertise that is her predecessor, Alex Salmond.

Read full article A family affair

Mr Salmond, just one more thing......

  • 18 November 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Peter Falk, playing TV detective Columbo
Peter Falk played the TV detective Columbo who used the phrase: "And just one more thing...."

One of the enduring joys of this rough trade of journalism is the opportunity to chat and gossip with politicians, from the aspiring to the senior. Only surpassed by the chance to be cheeky, on air or in print.

In that regard, I may be said to resemble Columbo, the TV detective. There is always one last question to ask - and I am always touchingly grateful for the opportunity. (Who said my dress sense is similar too? Take that person's name.)

Read full article Mr Salmond, just one more thing......

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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