As we hurtle towards the Brexit deadline of March 2019, albeit with the prospect of a transition period of at least 18 months, it’s worth pondering just where our movement stands and where do we go from here. We are rightly committed to the “Gold Standard” of referenda, which basically means we need to repeat the conditions which applied in 2014. This poses a major problem. The 2014 referendum was faced with the prospect of its legality being called into question and challenged in court. This was overcome by what was known as the Section 30 Agreement between the Scottish and London Governments. It meantRead More →

Apparently all last weekend the headlines in the main media were all about a civil war breaking out in the SNP. Personally I missed this. I was out in Aviemore promoting the Scots Independent newspaper at the SNP National Assembly. Once we had done so we then took time out to enjoy what that part of Scotland has to offer. We chilled in the campsite and spoke to many people about all sorts. Our SNP and Yes stickers were clear to be seen on the campervan. Did not seem to put people off speaking to us. Went shopping Monday morning and the headlines were eerilyRead More →

There is a lot of talk in Catalonia and Spain about efforts to exhume the body of fascist Dictator General Francisco Franco from the Valley of the Fallen. The site was built under Franco’s regime and underneath the valley’s floor lie the remains of 40,000 people who died during the Civil War. Franco, controversially, is the only person buried there who did not die in the civil war. The Basilica houses the remains of Franco and the founder of his Falange party and is the focus of Fascist commemorations every November 20th. Reflecting on the past and remembering the horrendous crimes of the Franco regimeRead More →

The end of an era has arrived. I have never been a slavish fan of anyone or anything. I mix things up depending on my mood. But even I have to acknowledge that the band Runrig were one of a kind. At the Last Dance the story of the band was told in song and film that played on the screens. The young Macdonald brothers started in music, like so many, doing traditional dance nights in local halls. I remember there was a cringe factor to this type of event. Wasn’t helped by the BBC’s presenting of shows like the yearly Hogmanay event. I rememberRead More →

REVIEW: First Snow / Première neige It takes a little while to figure out why this drama is so titled. But then the main character, Isabelle, explains that the day after Quebec’s second referendum, which Federalists narrowly won, the ‘first snow’ of Winter landed on the deserted streets of Montreal. Fallout from the nuclear shock of a second defeat in fifteen years? Or a telling aide-memoire that you only get two chances in life. Make a mistake once but make it again and you’re a goner. So this is a dramatic piece co-written by Davey Anderson (yes, of City Limits fame), Phillippe Ducros and LindaRead More →

  Timing – no matter how up to date you attempt to be, news these days moves so fast it is out of date before you finish writing.   Halleluia – or the Scottish equivalent? SNP Councillor Chris McEleny was one of the candidates for Deputy Leader, and worked as an electrician at MoD munitions site in Beith.  In the course of his campaign, the MoD took away his security pass and suspended him. National Security officials interviewed him at his home and queried him about a speech he had given to the SNP Conference.  Chris took his case to an industrial tribunal. The Judge,Read More →

The day had started dark and wet. Heavy rain was showing no sign of easing and, for a split second, the thought of not going crossed my mind. The girls were grumping and a social gathering the night before had been a bit too enjoyable meaning we were running behind schedule but I then thought of the buses that I knew were coming up the A9 and decided that they had no choice about attending in the rain so why should I have it any easier. Thankfully by mid morning it had eased and Inverness was reporting brilliant sunshine once again. The bus was surprisinglyRead More →

That old Chinese curse of “may you live in interesting times” has rarely seemed so apt as it is today. With both the US and UK facing major government crisis and even “Mutti” Merkel looking less than secure the Western world has more than enough going on to make things interesting. I was struck recently by just how much these crises have in common. The root cause seems to be the alienation being felt by huge sections of the population as Governments struggle to develop any kind of coherent response to the impacts of industrial change and what they mean for our social, economic andRead More →

I trust that you all have recovered from the disappointment that the World Cup is not, in fact coming “home.” Well done France, and commiserations to plucky, wee Croatia. So what’s been happening in the crazy world of UK politics? Well, to say that it has been an eventful couple of weeks, is putting it mildly. We had the Chequers Agreement – to use the word “agreement” has proved to be a contradiction in terms. Firstly David Davis jumped off the sinking ship, leaving Boris between the devil and the deep blue sea – he eventually swam for shore – leaving Captain May to go downRead More →