Welcome to Notes on Nationalism

I have spent a big chunk of my life working for internationalism and fighting against dividing people with imaginary lines on a map.

I have worked as a Special Adviser to cabinet ministers in the UK, working on everything from human rights and social security to sports policy and democratic renewal. I have taught activists and worked with democrats around the world. For me internationalism isn’t just a principle, it’s a practice. Over the last few years, I have supported campaigners and human rights defenders in more than 20 countries, including those taking on some of the most repressive regimes in the world.

I managed the campaign that saw Scotland vote, against the tide of populist nationalism globally, to remain in union with the rest of the UK. Because that campaign was successful in 2014, and because Brexit nationalism won in 2016, people often get in touch with me for campaign analysis or for advice on how to overcome the instincts that drive people to support such populist causes. I thought it might be of interest to someone if I started writing some of that down and shared it more widely.

Notes on Nationalism seeks to offer an insider view of how politics works, but it is primarily a newsletter about defeating nationalism. The challenge I have set myself is to avoid only offering analysis and commentary about the world as it is. I also want to offer strategies and arguments to help make the world as it should be.

I hope that you find this an interesting and useful resource. Really though this is a way of giving me the discipline of organising my thoughts by writing them down - and the quality control that comes from publishing them for challenge by readers.

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Notes on Nationalism is a free newsletter offering analysis and commentary of Scottish and UK politics alongside strategy and arguments for defeating nationalism.


Dad. Labour. @EastRenLab Ran the winning campaign to keep the UK together in #indyref. See also @keirhardiequote and @uyghurstop
Political commentator. Also write books on history and politics. Fan of bow ties and long lunches.