Commissioned Portfolio

Alastair Stewart

Alastair is a public affairs consultant and freelance writer. He regularly writes about politics, history and culture with a particular interest in the life of Sir Winston Churchill.

Columns, essays and news reports
Words on politics, culture and history


The Scotsman

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Freedom of movement in the EU was a geopolitical wonder

How Scotland’s political parties failed to respond to devolution

How TV talent shows exploit a horrible human instinct

Why hating the Tories is bad for Scotland

We need healthy debate over avoidable deaths

Never mind saving the world, a Jane Bond could change it 

How Hollywood seems to be embracing use of ‘ghost actors’

Should we treat Tony Blair as an elder statesman or put him on trial?

Churchill’s roar drowns out Johnson’s huge ego 

We need to talk about an independent Scotland’s foreign policy

Brexit: Why Gibraltar’s border issue is most likely flashpoint for violence

Nuclear weapons: Big question is whether UK would use them in revenge

Brexit: How Brexiteers’ worldview can be understood through history 

Brexit Britain must realise it cannot stand alone in the 21st-century world

Why people are not listening to Greta Thunberg

A robust Tory party can only be good for Scotland’s democracy 

Corbyn can save the Union if he embraces federalism

Why political opinion polls may well be harming our democracy

How to make your career ambitions come true in the digital age 

The danger to democracy posed by voting apps and internet politics

How we’ve failed to heed Nikita Khrushchev’s warning about personality cults

How US-style politics could be damaging British democracy

What the public can learn from MPs’ pragmatism

French Revolution has lessons for Brexit Britain

One more (reluctant) fight – that’s why we love comeback screen heroes
(print only)

The European Union’s biggest failure? Explaining what it does

Why we’re fascinated by Jeremy Kyle, Katie Hopkins and the like

Why Gothic Edinburgh was born to be Gotham City

MP for Spain? Expats need a voice

Brexit: Why it’s wrong to blame the older generation

Social media addiction is gaining recognition from an unlikely source 

How does the UK reconcile post Brexit? (print only)

Brexit: To expats in EU, the UK sounds like it’s preparing for war 

Dear John McDonnell, if Winston Churchill is a villain, who is a hero? 

Scottish independence would strip Churchill of his ‘Britishness’

Here’s how to end the UK’s ‘elective dictatorship’ 

Will tourist tax have the same effect on tourists as plastic bag tax had on

What Donald Tusk can learn from Winston Churchill 

Winston Churchill: Ross Greer is wrong, but so is Piers Morgan 

Scottish Secretary should be elected by MSPs

Donald Trump’s wealth is no reason to denounce him 

Churchill once defended ‘Scottish nationalism’ at Ibrox stadium

Machiavelli – moralist of people power

Disagreeing is a virtue our society is fast forgetting (print only)

Macedonian village healer changed my life in a way I didn’t expect

North Macedonia? Don’t you ‘North Briton’ me!

Scotland is the Casablanca of the Great Brexit 

The Sol Times

Print Features (Visit Gallery)

News coverage (Visit Gallery)

At home and abroad: What does Europe mean? (print only)

A very British fudge – Why democratising the Monarchy is the only way forward

Brexit makes me angry, and you should be too

Brexit, the game show!

Brexit thoughts: Through the glass, darkly with Mrs May (print only)

Boris, Brexit and Britons in Spain (print only)

Brits abroad must support stray cats in Europe

Can you compare Scotland and Catalonia (print only)

Catalonia was a gross injustice, plain and simple

Decluttering the hell of social media

Did the sun really seton the British empire? (print only)

Doctor Who travels through space, time…and Spain

Don’t be afraid of the big, bad doctor

Dual mandates are wrecking British politics

Expatriates need to stop calling themselves ‘expats’ 

Gibraltar doesn’t, shouldn’t and won’t bother the Spanish (print only)

Grenfell Tower blaze victims deserve justice

Guns will stop the US government? Give me a break!

Have you noticed something about Bond villains?

History and hope over terror and tyranny (print only)

How do the Spanish feel about the UK general election? (print only)

I’m a member of the Scottish Parliament, get me out of here!

If Nigel Farage is calling for a second referendum, it’s time for a rethink 

Is Batfleck the hero for the Trump generation?

Is Discovery Star Trek?

It’s time to call Theresa May undemocratic

It’s not superhero fatigue, it’s misery fatigue

Kevin Spacey has betrayed his fans and they’re hurting too 

Lights, camera, Salmond

May, Rajoy and ‘Brexpats’ (print only)

May is right to hold a general election (print only)

May-day: Looking at the general election

Moggmentum is the last straw of sanity (print only)

New Year’s resolutions are hogwash 

Of course Wonder Woman deserves and all-female showing 

Opinion: Terrorism can’t become normalised (print only)

Our responses to terror must be consistent

Passports are a hint of things to come

Read this before you see Dunkirk

Shouldn’t International Men’s Day be as important as International Women’s Day?

Stop panicking about Jodie Whittaker 

The Apprentice is bad for business and bad for the BBC

The day America accidentally dropped the bomb on Spain

The Diana tapes are a macabre indulgence

The old men in grey suits should be listened to (print only)

The rise of the social media wedding

Tired of government officials lying to you? (print only)

Train’s, planes and bins: how Almeria works (print only)

Trump’s obvious historical strategy (print only)

The UK is not coming apart at the seams over Europe (print only)

Understanding Spain’s political parties

Votes for life must only be the beginning

When Churchill bribed Franco 

Who’s who in Almeria politics

Why Brexit matters to Almeria

Why Esteban Gonzalez Pons’ comments on Scotland don’t matter (print only)

Why doesn’t Spain love the iPhone?

Why irredentism explains Brexit

Why it’s time for overseas MPs

Why Theresa May is wrong about human rights

Why Tim Farron had to go

Why Trump matters to Europe (print only)

Why Spain and Britain are two peas in a pod (print only)

WIll apps kill pubs? (print only)


Winston Churchill

BBC Radio Scotland with John Beattie  talking to Alastair Stewart, Ross Greer MSP and Professor Lucy Robinson (BBC Radio Scotland)




History Scotland

Churchill: Remember the man, not the myth

Part 1: Debunking the cult of Churchill

Using primary sources to explore the statesman’s life and work.

Part 2: Churchill as a military leader

A look at Churchill’s reputation as a boorish war leader with a penchant for expeditions over expediency. Is it justified?

Part 3: Churchill the actor

For all his flaws and quirks, Churchill makes for an infinitely more interesting character study than the heavily redacted, and catastrophically cliched, caricature of a stoic leader with a jutted jaw and cigar.

Part 4: Why the real quotes are better than the memes

Alastair calls for a more significant distinction between the real and apocryphal stories about Churchill.

Part 5: A heavy drinker?

Examining Churchill’s reputation as a heavy drinker.

Part 6: The real price of ale

If Churchill wasn’t an alcoholic, but if he fanned tall drinking tales about himself, then what was he at heart?

Part 7: Churchill was a peacemaker, not just a warrior

Exploring Churchill’s postwar role as a peacemaker.

Part 8: The Dream reveal’s Churchill’s soul

What ‘The Dream’ can tell us about Churchill’s relationship with the father he thought never believed in him.

Part 9: Churchill & Europe – the ultimate myth?

The many Churchills, the many Europes.


The Scot who nearly killed Franco


Politics & Commentary

Speechwriting & Placement


Winston Churchill

BBC Radio Scotland with John Beattie  talking to Alastair Stewart, Ross Greer MSP and Professor Lucy Robinson (BBC Radio Scotland)

Politics Galore