In the week that it was reported that a customer received an email response from Marks and Spencer to a complaint about Scotch Whisky being branded as British, advising her that Scotland was now part of England, more and more instances surface of the unconscious view held by many south of the border that Scotland exists only as a dependency to its larger neighbour. After writing to voice her displeasure that Whisky produced in Scotland and therefore protected in law as being Scotch, was not afforded Scotland as its country of origin but was instead labelled as being British; the matter was further compounded byRead More →

Monday: what a bizarre day for political media management in 10 Downing Street. A Cabinet reshuffle that actually didn’t do very much but somehow managed to take hours to conclude. Maternal Theresa promised a new ministerial team of bright and bubbly women and BME as dynamic reformers. Instead she was left with no net increase in women in full Cabinet posts. She had to resort to the use of ‘attendees’ to make gender balance appear better. So poor Liz Truss (chief secretary to the Treasury) and Andrea Leadsom (Leader of the House of Commons) ‘attend’ Cabinet whereas their predecessors in these roles would have beenRead More →

Please note that although you can continue to place orders with the online shop, the volunteer staff will be on holiday 6th to 15th January. All orders placed between 6th and 15th January 2018 will be posted out on Tuesday 16th January 2018 Happy shoppingRead More →

I know that we were all just a wee tad busy in 2012 – 14, there was apparently a referendum going on. But while we were tramping the streets with leaflets, canvas packs and manning street stalls for that a seriously important anniversary went without due recognition. I know that the National Trust for Scotland held major events over the weekend of the Battle of Bannockburn (just as well the new boss man wasn’t in place) but because of co-ordinated political opposition the anniversary was much lower key than it deserved. Not just because the Scots under King Robert defeated the English under Edward 2Read More →

Dear Jeremy, In recent weeks there has been a clear signal from the business community and Members across the House that the best way forward in Phase two negotiations for the UK exiting the EU would be to protect our current membership of the single market and customs union. I hope you will join me at 17:00 on Monday 8th January 2018, the first day after the Christmas recess, to discuss how we can work together in Parliament to secure the UK’s continued membership of the single market. As Fraser of Allander analysis has revealed, leaving the single market would risk up to 80,000 jobsRead More →

Tax. No one wants to pay it but everyone wants what it is able to provide. That’s life. What also seems to be life, in this modern world, is that the Nationalists seem to keep upsetting the Unionists. Last week this was extremely evident at the budget presentation. The unionists thought they had all worked out what was going to happen and had all prepared their speeches beforehand. Nasty nationalists had not leaked what their intentions were. Result…………….very embarrassing, unionist leaders were unable to think on their feet. They read out their prepared statements and as such, much of what they said was irrelevant. TheyRead More →

There isn’t long to go now in the Catalan election contest which was triggered by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the same time that the imposition of Article 155 and the annulment of the Catalan declaration of independence came into force. It is hard to see how the people of Catalonia can have any great faith in the fairness of the elections given the recent actions of the Spanish state. It seems that Article 155 is being used as an excuse for all kinds of cultural violence in Catalonia, culminating in the removal of disputed works of art from a museum in Llieda byRead More →

“The moving finger writes and having writ moves on, nor all thy piety nor wit, shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it” This quotation from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam sprang to mind as I was considering how quickly political events are moving, or even not moving! The main driver of politics this year has been Brexit. We seem to have gone from the heady hysteria of “£350 million a week for the National Health Service” to the Tory Government attempting to evade the consequences and haggling about the exit price. In allRead More →