“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I was reminded of this quotation in the tragic aftermath of the murder of Sir David Amess MP last Friday. It’s one which is often quoted but I now wonder just how much it is meant. Politics is about the clash of ideas, principles and persuasions or it is nothing but the day to day routine of administration. But to have a clash of ideas etc., you must be willing to hear what the other side is saying; just because they differ from you doesn’t make themRead More →

Those of us who were listening properly to the Brexiteers knew this would come to pass. All our lives are being affected by the bullish and totally unfounded shouting of Britain is Great. They seem to believe that waving lots of flags and blubbering partial sentences, using as big a word as possible in it, will magically make everything okay. I find it unbelievable that there are so many people out there who believe that Britain is a world leader. When was the last time Britain took the lead in something? In all my adult life I only remember them hanging on the coat tailsRead More →

The co-operation agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens to form a majority government in Scotland has rattled the Unionist cages like nothing before it. The shrill reaction from Tories, Labour and Lib Dems is testimony to their fear of an independence majority and to their de facto united front in opposition to a second independence referendum. The original design of the Scottish Parliament by the Consultative Steering Group is being trashed by this toxic partisanship on the constitutional question as battle lines are drawn from Chamber to Committee rooms. The SNP say ‘it is’ and the Unionist chorus rejoin ‘oh no it isn’t’; straight out of a pantomime playbook. The CSG recognisedRead More →

With the onset of Winter, it is hoped not one of discontent, but with the obvious effects of Covid and Brexit there is an air of frustration and anger in the stupidity of it all, when so many had raised the questions but were dismissed as scaremongering. Covid has blindsided every nation, but evicting our European NHS staff and facing a vile virus at the same time seems like a perfect storm.  A storm we are all being pummelled with.  I know many within the European communities in Scotland feel they are no longer welcome here,  although Scotland voted to stay in, and MSPs haveRead More →

The SNP in Caithness has long had a difficult relationship with the Dounreay complex, a series of sites run by various companies and government departments catering for different developments but all with nuclear technology at their heart.  Whilst the party is firmly anti-nuclear, and many individual members share this view, there has never been any escaping the fact that Dounreay was the largest employer in the county and job security and career advancement whilst staying in your local area could override concerns either emotional or moral.  Always seen as unique in Scotland anyway, Caithneseian members trod a fine line between wanting the removal of theRead More →

I was recently given a copy of Gavin Esler’s book “How Britain Ends” and have thoroughly enjoyed having another perspective on the politics of these Islands. A large part of his book is devoted to exploring the rise and nature of English Nationalism. Its roots, attitudes and contrasts with the nationalisms of Scotland, Wales and Ireland (north and to a degree South).  He traces what is referred to as “nostalgic pessimism” as a root of English resentment at the loss of some Golden Age through the centuries.  In the words attributed to John of Gaunt in Shakespeare’s Richard 11 the most widely known part being theRead More →

The other day I saw a newspaper article shared on facebook. The article was by Andrew Wilson who was pointing out that it could take 7 years after an independence vote to get any agreement with Westminster. I didn’t follow the link as often you only get part of the article and have to subscribe to read the rest. (I don’t subscribe as I don’t have enough time to read them all)  He seemed to be referring to the way the current Westminster team were being less than constructive in making Brexit work. In my opinion the current squad are not a team, indeed notRead More →

Just as many of us are mulling over the new SNP Green alliance, I’m thinking dung.  This has no reflection on my support for green issues or any relationship which means a move to total Independence from all quarters.  But my daily existence as a farmer is looking at what is expected of the industry by the decision makers.  As agriculture, horticulture and all areas of the food and drink industry are the most regulated industries on the planet, we are not free to do as we like right now. Quite rightly so, as when we become an Independent nation food security should be given top ten billing,Read More →

We were lucky enough to partake in an online video meet with the First Minister tonight to discuss aspects of the agreement that will see the Scottish Greens have shared governance, and answer questions that SNP members might have.  It was very well attended but it was apparent that the members shared the same concerns and that these are not the concerns that those in the more populated areas of Scotland have.  The agreement has compromises relating to manifesto commitments and affords the Greens two ministerial posts.  Although in general the two parties share many similarities they are not the same and there is an undercurrentRead More →

Making news, telling stories and getting a message across is the daily workhorse of the public relations profession and something that I have been practising for over 20 years.  A headline today on Facebook News caught my attention: “Protestors claim to ‘seize’ Edinburgh Castle citing Magna Carta”. My first thought was some English nationalist group is making a bizarre claim for publicity purposes. However, delving into the article reveals that this was a group of independence supporters suggesting they were making a dramatic attempt to re-claim the iconic bastion of military dominance in the historic capital city. Well for a publicity stunt it certainly grabbedRead More →