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 →

Thought I was nearly finished but had a sleep in the chair and decided to rip it up and start again. I cannot remember such turbulent times in all my 83 years! Maybe I am just forgetting but I am certain things have never been so uncertain.   First we have a world crisis with the US and North Korea engaged in a war of words, so far. North Korea is unpredictable and the United States with an unpredictable President does not give us succour. In this we have the nuclear threat, Trident, in Scotland , in theory in Britain’s hands but with the powerRead More →

Having been away from home for a few days over the weekend I am trying to catch up with social media and the newspapers as well as trying to get the house in some sort of order. An article in Saturday’s edition of The Herald caused me a little concern. I had been discussing the subject with friends we were staying with but only got the chance to read the article today (Tuesday). Dr Joseph Webster of Queen’s University, Belfast says that sectarian and abusive behaviour is about cementing “solidarity and fraternity” within groups rather than directing hatred at their rivals. Really? Does this academicRead More →

I’ve not long returned from a few days in Athens with my daughter where we enjoyed some glorious weather compared to our usual Scottish temperatures yet started the final day in a hailstorm as the Beast from the East struck even there! Torrential rain and a thunderstorm then followed; the Parthenon illuminated by lightning was an eerie sight and you could almost imagine the fury of the Greek gods as the Acropolis seemed to be a magnet for the phenomenon. Something I couldn’t fail to notice was armed police whether it be the tourism police or traffic officers to the van loads of riot policeRead More →

Theresa May’s de facto Deputy, David Lidington took to the Brexit Roadshow in a long line of UK Cabinet ministers stamping their authority on the process of leaving the EU. Mr Lidington has reportedly sent a warning shot to Nicola Sturgeon telling her Brexit must not be used as an excuse to break up the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Theresa May’s ally said the UK is at a crossroads but severing ties would leave every one of the four nations “weaker and poorer,” even if Brexit has greater impact on Scotland than any of the other ‘home nations’. In fact, referring to the UK as four nations is infuriating enough.Read More →

The justification for calling a second referendum has been largely based on the SNP’s manifesto commitment in 2016 which stated “We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.” It’s obvious to the most casual observer that the first condition has not yet been met. Sure, there are positive signsRead More →