I was tempted to write about the unfolding crisis engulfing Theresa May’s Government but the story is moving so fast that my article would almost certainly be swiftly overtaken by events. Instead I will focus on Catalonia. The tide of events is a little more sedate there at the moment than in London but there have been a great many waves recently. Quim Torra was inaugurated as the President of the Catalan Generalitat on 15 May after the Spanish State refused to allow Carles Puigdemont to take up the post, even though he had the backing of a majority of the elected representatives. Puigdemont is,Read More →

It was intended to make Britain Great again but the Brexit victory for Davis, Fox and BoJo is increasingly looking like being on a Pyrrhic scale unseen in modern electoral politics. Firstly, according to the official Leave campaign’s former Chief Executive, they have been found guilty by the Electoral Commission on four counts: made an inaccurate return of campaign expenditure is missing invoices and receipts failed to comply with a statutory notice exceeded its spending limit In a rare move, the Vote Leave campaign has gone public based on receiving a draft report from the Electoral Commission. Quite why Vote Leave it felt it hadRead More →

I tell the story often of the Scout trip to Norway for an international jamboree. The Group Scout leader was also the local school janitor. A lovely man but Labour was for the working class. No argument or example my father offered him that voting SNP for independence worked. The Scouts were to spend the first week in camp and then would be housed with families of the local Scout troop. The same for the leaders. During this week the Group Scout Leaders eyes were well and truly opened. This was the early 70s when things were quite different from now. The school janitor wasRead More →

This week we will have the Annual Oliver Brown Award, going this year to Lesley Riddoch.  As I followed the cantrips at Westminster I was reminded of one of Oliver’s quotes regarding the Westminster Parliament  “The Lord Privy Seal is neither a Lord, a Privy, nor a Seal”. We still have Black Rod, whatever that is, and ‘Strangers in the Gallery’, all outmoded and belonging to another age.  I am particularly aghast at the voting system; when a vote is called the Division Bell rings and MPs have about 15 minutes to get to the voting lobby, where their names are marked off by aRead More →

Two things have struck me quite forcibly in recent weeks. The outstanding attendances at the AUOB marches and the reactions to the Growth Commission report. Many years ago, the late Maggie Ewing would tell anyone who would listen that she knew when Scotland would win Independence. “When the people start marching for it”. The Glasgow rally I was prepared to be sceptical about, possible one off, big city attractions, novelty value etc. Plus the fact that we were moving house and that was taking all my attention. I readily admit to being stunned at the turn out and the enthusiasm evident in the numerous videosRead More →

Last week I visited the amazing recreation of a World War 1 battlefield at Leckmelm near Ullapool. Built as part of a transition project for the Primary 7 pupils moving onto secondary education, the community assisted the local History teacher to create this very time limited display. Situated next to Loch Broom, British and German trenches at Arras had been authentically replicated and rows of crosses bearing the names of the men of Lochbroom who never returned home stood under the shadow of the towering mountains. Although just a tiny number of the 140000 Scottish soldiers who lost their lives in the war to endRead More →

Here we are again, Ruth Davidson, ever the champion of sticking to the day job, has given a speech on the economy this evening at Glasgow University. Her press team informed journalists in advance that she wouldn’t be answering questions or giving any interviews. So far, so the very same as last time and the time before. As an elected politician, it is incumbent on you to be able to not just articulate your position to the public but to defend it when subjected to scrutiny. This is the very essence of politics and the fact that the Leader of the Opposition in the ScottishRead More →

Tradition is a peculiar thing. According to dictionaries it is ‘The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.’ We are now in the year 2018. Last century it was tradition for the man to be the wage earner. The woman to keep house and bring up the children. The man washed the car and did the garden. The woman saw to the shopping while the man was at work. Although many have always questioned tradition, most people were happy to go along with it. It was easier. Life was simpler if you tookRead More →

“That a man thinks as his newspaper directs him – discuss.” The above was my choice of essay in the Higher English exam in 1960 – how time flies.  Now apart from the fact that the question seemed to assume that only men read newspapers, this subject nevertheless captured the attention of  this 16 year old “woman”. The points raised by this question seemed to be 1) Do we choose our  newspaper to echo our beliefs? Or 2) Have our beliefs been moulded by the newspaper we read?  My own experience of my family’s newspaper habit was, I felt, not typical.  My parents took theRead More →