We go back to school tomorrow –  20 long weeks that we sometimes wondered if we would see.  Preparations are in place for a smooth phased return to education but it will not be the way it was offered before. Whilst numeracy and literacy are of course important, they can be caught up on; the immediate concern is the social and emotional development of children, some of whom will not have been to a shop, seen friends or been in a larger group than their household for nearly half a year.   The primary focus will be on fun and friendships, laughter and listening whilstRead More →

Riding high in the polls, a political leader with a strong public approval rating, our FM in the world top 5 of women leaders, on course for a general election victory and outright independence majority, the closest we have ever been to our political goal and what could possibly go wrong? For starters, internal division. The suggestion by some independence supporters that the SNP and, by implication or direct accusation, Nicola Sturgeon are not interested in independence beggars’ belief. Polling analysis by Sir John Curtice (no ally of independence), that the sustained lead for independence is gaining momentum and the SNP-led national movement has crossedRead More →

A new political organisation has been born. Apparently, the aim is to bring together people who don’t like to belong to a political party, to discuss, debate, form policies and field list candidates. Lifted from the about section of their facebook page ‘The Alliance for Independence was created to give YES, Indy groups and individuals a voice in Scotland’s parliament and to remove as many non indy msp’s as possible.’ They wish to attract all small bands of independence supporters and YES groups. My take on the reason there are so many small groups of independence supporters is because they all can’t get on together.Read More →

In recent months there has been a plethora of debate about tactics for the second, list, vote in the Scottish Parliamentary General Election next year. With more opinions and assertions than I could shake the proverbial stick at. Very few accompanied by an analysis I have to say. One thing they tend to share is an acceptance that anyone voting SNP in the 1st paper can be readily transferred on a whim. WRONG! One because lots of people will vote SNP 1 & 2 regardless. Two because lots of folk were persuaded to do that in 2016 with very little extra to show for it.Read More →

by Lloyd Inglis Text of a Talk Given To The Tomball Rotary Club In Texas, USA – October 2003 Introduction Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be here today to speak to you on the subject of Scotland’s Geography, Culture & Contribution to the Global Village – a snapshot of 2000 years of history in 20 minutes! In a situation like this, when one looks at ones own country, so often it is a question of perception. Is the bottle half full or half empty? – Or is it whisky or is it cold tea? – Perception! Pleased do notRead More →

by Pete Wishart Who would have thought that five and a half years after losing a referendum on independence support is now edging over 50% and becoming a sustained majority? The resilience of the movement and the belief that this is unfinished business has endured and we are now at the point where we can almost touch out and reach our ambitions and move towards the reality of Scotland becoming an independent nation.  The Tories and unionists know they can’t beat us. The scent of decay in the union case is almost overwhelming and they know that they are approaching the endgame. Large numbers ofRead More →

“We need the SNP signed up to a Manifesto for Independence which they’ve been ‘persuaded’ to adopt by a united Yes movement” Just read that aloud and ask in which universe the SNP need to be persuaded on Independence. We’ve been knocking on doors, delivering leaflets and marching for in my case since 1967! The arrogance to think I need to be persuaded on Independence is the kind of attitude which turns me off and I find it hard to believe will persuade voters to see this as a serious contribution to the debate. Saw the above in a facebook post today. I have noRead More →

I am becoming increasingly disheartened at the lack of compassion, empathy and respect when it comes to debating some really sensitive issues online. Perhaps social media simply mirrors real life, or maybe it does bring out the worst in some. Either way, it almost certainly leads to an over-simplification of issues and debates. This may be why we are seeing so many ‘All Lives Matter’ posts in response to the Black Lives Matter campaign – one simple message being countered by another, because people haven’t taken the time to look at the many complex and nuanced messages behind the Black Lives Matter campaign. Of courseRead More →

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. NO! It’s just the most frustrating of times. But not just frustrating because we cannot go out and do all the little things we thought of as important just a few weeks ago. Is it really just a few weeks? Like going out for a walk or a drive just for the fun of it, like packing the camera bag and Toby in the car and seeing where we end up and what we can see when we get there. And we’re among the lucky ones! We have a decent sized garden whichRead More →

The new under-secretary of state for Scotland has been appointed. An English MP. Does this mean that he trusts no Scottish MPs, not even his own Tories? Watching things play out in the USA this past week my other half commented that some of the scenes were reminiscent of events in the 50s and 60s. My comment was that things are not too different in the UK at the moment. Class, Race and how much money you have still separates us. These things still determine what kind of life you will have. At the moment they are determining whether you live or die. Westminster hasRead More →