At the time of writing, the political instability of the country is astounding. After months upon months of wrangling and backtracking for a deal that even the leave voters have deserted, this afternoon, the Prime Minister revoked on the plan to hold a Commons vote on the decisions that had been reached on a Brexit withdrawal. Knowing that she would be heavily defeated by her own government as the proposals stood, she announced that the vote would be deferred until further tweaks had been sought from the EU. Our exit from the European Union bears no resemblance to what those who voted leave were promisedRead More →

Well those damn pesky Scots (polite version) appear to be getting somewhere. Nicola has been down in Westminster chatting to Theresa about a third way. Ian Blackford has been leading his team in constantly chipping away in the debate about how things will affect Scotland.Talks have been held with other opposition parties. Meanwhile a cross party group have been taking the possibility of just being able to say ‘no, we want to reverse the Brexit decision’ (the simplified one sentence version) to the European Court of Justice. ‘In a written statement, the ECJ said Mr Campos Sanchez-Bordona’s opinion was that if a country decided toRead More →

by Pete Wishart It was Norman Lamont who said of the equally disastrous John Major Government ‘we give the impression of being in office but not in power’. Such is the situation with this Government they don’t even give the impression of being in office! Never before has such overwhelming shambles characterised a Government’s approach to running the country. The tenuous majority they secured with the £1 billion DUP bung seems to be abandoned as the DUP vote against the Government. As the sound of ‘never’ reverberates from the opposition lobby this must be the worst political investment in history. How this Government must wishRead More →

The title “Power devolved is power retained” is attributed to the late Enoch Powell, a hard right Tory also remembered for “rivers of blood”, his condemnation of immigrants, chiefly if not exclusively, coloured.  He became a Northern Ireland Member of Parliament, which seems appropriate. As I look at the cantrips of the  Tory Party, and at a  confused Labour Party, I have to say I am not sure what will happen even before I get to the end of the page – the Liberals still not sure.  However, the direction of travel is evident. Before and since the inception of the Scottish Parliament the ToriesRead More →

His Excellency Lubomir Rehak, the Amabassador of Slovakia to the Court of St James (aka Betty’s Club), gave a talk at the University of Stirling this week with the Provost and past Provost of Stirling in attendance with the civic regalia on show. The occasion of this talk was to mark the centenary of independence for Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of World War 1. He traced its modern history as an independent country with Czech Republic from 1919-39, skipped past the 1939-45 when Slovakia was a separate but crypto-Nazi state until the Iron Curtain fell in the aftermath of the second World War. Touching onRead More →

As we reach the centenary of the end of the First World War and reflect upon the sacrifice of all the young men who fell it is clear that, statistically, Scotland had a higher percentage of soldier deaths than elsewhere in the union. Often, the kilts and bagpipes that marked their heritage also marked their bravery as they led the troops into battle. Everyone will have their own stories or their own local folklore but the stories I probably find the hardest to understand are those when multiple members of the same family were lost and Caithness has plenty of these to remember. I sawRead More →

I’m constantly amused by the current nonsense from the numpties of the DUP. They refuse to allow a trade barrier to be erected down the Irish Sea but insist on a time line which keeps Northern Ireland in some sort of cultural bubble. They happily take £1billion as the bribe to prop up the tories and insist there can be no difference between them and the mainland unless you are gay, want an abortion or quite like the idea of elected politicians actually getting on with running the Assembly. Just pause for a moment and imagine if the SNP were to be blocking Holyrood fromRead More →

The trade unions are a breeding ground for politicians. Traditionally these have been Labour politicians. We do find a few have made their way through to the SNP, most often by switching when they become disillusioned by Labour, but I do know a few who have been SNP from early on without going through the motions of being Labour. This weeks strike has been manipulated by the Labour party. People have said they didn’t want to strike. Here we have the statement from Glasgow City Council leader. You may or may not see it in other media. Delivering pay justice for the women of GlasgowRead More →

As we were in Glasgow with the Scots Independent newspaper for SNP conference, we decided to stay an extra day and do some culture. I had heard a review of this exhibition on the radio. While not a fan of traipsing around art galleries I felt this would be worth taking a look at. A lot of effort had been put into pulling the artwork together from artists from all sides and sections of the war. Once over these works would all go back where they had come from, possibly even back in storage. I started by saying that I would be doing a writeRead More →

Due to work commitments, I’m missing another Annual Conference and keeping my fingers crossed that the dates for the next one fit better for me. As always, the photos and the tales from those attending are fantastic but you know that they only scratch the surface of the enthusiasm and buzz of the delegates. There are many resolutions that I will follow with interest and am gutted that I will miss Fringe events that look interesting and informative to my job in a primary school Nurture Room. I was also interested to see several information and training events published in the handbook that will alsoRead More →