Last Sunday we attended the yearly service and change of Saltire at Athelstaneford. Well, it had been a yearly service until Covid restricted people’s movements and ability to gather. Behind the Church in the village is the Doocot that was converted into The Flag Heritage Centre. It tells the story of the flag of Scotland through film and story. It has become a popular tourist destination with both people from abroad, and those from home. The pictures show you the floodlit Saltire memorial which sits in the front of the church, next to the main road. Haddington Pipe Band entertained the gathering for around halfRead More →

In a recent piece for The Atlantic, “How the UK Became One Of The Poorest Countries in Western Europe”*, Derek Thomson wrote ” When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it hit hard, smashing the engine of Britain’s economic ascent. Wary of rising deficits, the British government pursued a policy of austerity, fretting about debt rather than productivity or aggregate demand. The results were disastrous. Real wages fell for six straight years. Facing what the writer Fintan O’Toole called “the dull anxiety of declining living standards,” conservative pols sniffed out a bogeyman to blame for this slow-motion catastrophe. They served up to anxious voters a menu of scaryRead More →

An article appeared in the local press recently about the council mooting an idea for reducing the size of the general waste bins for households by almost half.  Currently larger households and those with certain medical needs have an increased bin capacity and smaller households have a smaller one; this proposal would see all households reduce to the size of the small households.  The pros were that it would encourage householders to increase their recycling rate and be more careful with what they recycle as they would not be able to just chuck it in the bin like it is currently presumed they do.  TheRead More →

I wonder where Maggie Chapman lives. I know she has worked on the West coast, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. I read she likes exploring Scotland in her leisure time, but does she have any actual experience of daily living using the A96? From Inverurie to Aberdeen it is a doddle with the dualled road. From Inverurie to Inverness it is very often a nightmare. Being rural, we have to travel far for appointments. For those of us who live a few miles from the A96 corridor public transport becomes complicated and does not join up. When we went to Fochabers institute to look at the proposalsRead More →

I’m not sure what planet they are on, but as they sit and congratulate themselves on reinvention yet again thousands sit freezing and hungry. Watching The Omen tonight it mentions “the devils child will rise up in the world of politics.”  The question is, which one? There are many components to the destruction the Tories have inflicted on us all. Power, greed, revolution, diversion and – much worse – sheer blind ignorance. To turn their backs on the deprived in the country, and in the last few weeks the number has multiplied,  without even questioning the incomprehensible mini budget which set the balls rolling towardsRead More →

As a disabled person, I can’t find anything in the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister worthy of celebration. Yes, it’s good to have someone from another underrepresented group as Prime Minister and it’s noteworthy that he is the first UK PM of colour, the first person of Asian descent and the first Hindu to hold this office. However, it is all meaningless if he does nothing to address the abhorrent UK Immigration policy, which sees a six year old refugee and their mother sleeping on the streets of Glasgow at the end of October 2022, because to register their asylum claim in the quickest way they have to make their own wayRead More →

Unsurprisingly, Rishi Sunak is now Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Union.  There was no way that Penny Mordaunt was going to be allowed to follow in Liz Truss” shoes and, even though there have been far more men managing to destroy what they have been in charge of, Liz Truss was the architect of her own downfall playing to the stereotype of a weak willed female incapable of making a decision and the damage has been done for many years now.  Quite how quickly her premiership came to an end was shocking however and there should be manyRead More →

There is something both off-putting and at the same time intensely compelling about the tragedy currently playing out at the heart of UK politics.  As a Prime Minister who is so utterly unsuited, unable and unworthy of the job for which she has battled, schemed, twisted and turned all her adult life seems to be the only person who cannot see the writing on the wall. Go and for God’s sake, go now! Everyone is to blame, the markets, Mad Vlad and most of all KamiKwasi who had to be tossed under a bus after years of friendship. No amount of past alliances, co-authorship or ideological purityRead More →

Last weekend we took the Scots Independent stall to the SNP conference in Aberdeen. The number attending was down on pre covid times. The train strikes may have been as much an influence as a fear of crowded places.  Many had a little flutter in the stomach when approaching the venue. It was, after all, the first time we had all gathered since 2019. Some of the HQ staff are still working from home so it )was a big deal for them too. Friday afternoon we set out our space so we were ready for the early star on Saturday. There was a good vibeRead More →

Whatever happened to the high wage high skills economy that Boris Johnson promised us at the last year’s Tory conference? Remember just a year ago when the UK government pretended that the lorry driver shortage and the empty supermarket shelves weren’t a direct result of the Tories’ isolationist policies but instead were a mere temporary obstacle on a high speed journey to higher pay? This year we – or at least the wealthy – were briefly promised high growth and low taxes. Then the chancellor u-turned and it’s now more unclear than ever how the Tories intend to solve the UK’s myriad problems. Every wayRead More →