Tradition is a peculiar thing. According to dictionaries it is ‘The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.’ We are now in the year 2018. Last century it was tradition for the man to be the wage earner. The woman to keep house and bring up the children. The man washed the car and did the garden. The woman saw to the shopping while the man was at work. Although many have always questioned tradition, most people were happy to go along with it. It was easier. Life was simpler if you tookRead More →

“That a man thinks as his newspaper directs him – discuss.” The above was my choice of essay in the Higher English exam in 1960 – how time flies.  Now apart from the fact that the question seemed to assume that only men read newspapers, this subject nevertheless captured the attention of  this 16 year old “woman”. The points raised by this question seemed to be 1) Do we choose our  newspaper to echo our beliefs? Or 2) Have our beliefs been moulded by the newspaper we read?  My own experience of my family’s newspaper habit was, I felt, not typical.  My parents took theRead More →

While the Indy movement rips into itself over whether to march or not, yet unites around the media bias (have to say BBC Scotland online news did report organiser’s and Police estimates of the number of marchers and it was top story for the afternoon), a lot of England went to the polls last Thursday. At first glance, the outcome of mayoral and council elections tells us very little. Tories wiped out the UKIP vote south of Birmingham to largely increase their overall representation in local government. Theresa May can breathe a sigh of relief that there wasn’t too much in the results to giveRead More →

A bit of a mixture this time, as this week will be a busy one for me Some two years ago, I think, I got a new computer and decided to use a “civilian” email address. In the last two weeks BT, my supplier for this email address, said I had to change my password, specifying I could not use my current one. Since then I have not been able to access my “civilian” email! I had my eldest son attempt to fix it after fruitless tries, even using their “Helpful chat” method. ( I had to cancel that try as my tea was ready).Read More →

“Don’t raise your voice, raise the quality of your argument!” That’s a mantra which was drummed into me by the late Bill Johnston when, as a young, ambitious and very opinionated Nationalist I was losing a debate with him yet again. Bill was then the Convenor of the Association of Scottish Nationalist Trade Unionists, a forerunner of the SNP Trade Union Group. He mentored our group, giving us the benefit of a life time of experience as a Union activist. We would often meet in his house under the shadow of the Erskine Bridge as it was constructed, and where he would hammer home theRead More →

Four years ago, our summer holiday comprised of a week camping at Loch Lomond and travelling into Glasgow to attend events at the Commonwealth Games. There was a fantastic atmosphere everywhere and it was a privilege to see the athletes compete. That the subsequent games have just finished in Australia’s Gold Coast is proof that time really does seem to pass quicker the older you get! Scotland’s medal haul totalled 44 consisting of 9 Gold, 13 Silver and 22 Bronze – a remarkable achievement. From Duncan Scott’s outstanding collection of 6 medals to the heartbreaking end of Callum Hawkin’s marathon, there were many memorable momentsRead More →

It seemed to me that just having survived the Easter weekend there was very little for me to comment on as politics seemed to have been on holiday (well apart from Jeremy and the wrong group of Jews but I dare not go down that road!) Cup of coffee, my turn for the newspaper. Nothing to write home about in the Herald, then I get to the opinion page. Today (Tuesday) it is Chris Deerin. I was enraged at his apparent belief that the BBC fits the idea that it was supposed to live up to – a commonly owned project to “inform, educate andRead More →

To quote the words of an old country and western song, “You gotta know when to hold them, Know when to fold them, Know when to walk away And know when to run” I have had my doubts about the timing of a second Independence Referendum, but events in these last few weeks suggest to me that the time to “run” is nigh. We are just emerging from what has, in effect, been a 3 week news blackout of all but the nerve gas attack on the double agent and his daughter in Salisbury. This was a dreadful act and, of course, very newsworthy indeed.Read More →