The ancient, and probably best known of Chinese curses is the wish “May you live in interesting times”, and this can be fairly applied to Scotland today.  The latest bombshell for Scotland is the loss of 835 jobs at Scottish shipyards. This has to do with Royal Navy orders, which may or may not come to Scotland.  The reason is that work on the two aircraft carriers will be completed in the next two years and there are no orders to employ all the workforce;  in fact the elusive orders for the Type 26 frigates are causing alarm and despondency in the ranks.   Firstly, theRead More →

This does not refer to the Common Weal issue being highlighted by the Jimmy Reid Foundation, but to the Royal and Ancient Commonwealth of the former nations usurped by the British Empire – well ancient in the sense that the United Kingdom lost an Empire, but translated it into a Commonwealth, since it consist of some 54 countries which have mainly become independent since the Second World War.  Please note that this group does not include the United States of America or the Republic of Ireland, both countries which gained their independence after taking up arms against the British state.   We have now beenRead More →

Durham When watching TV I saw the procession at the Durham Miners’ Gala – Len McLuskey was speaking at it, and I recalled a piece on this Gala some years back, in the Observer I think.  I paraphrase; One of the comments was  that this was the greatest democratic demonstration in the world, and the report went on: “ “If you vote Tory up our way, you get a brick through your window” quoth one democratic miner.”   A9 tragedies I am never surprised by the hypocrisy of our Unionist MSPs;  whenever there is an accident on the A9 involving loss of life you canRead More →

A wee bit of confusion of compilers ( could be a collective expression!)  this week with many causes. Start with the stunning  achievement of Andy Murray in winning at the All England Tennis Club, attaining the highest rated award in tennis;  beats even an Olympic Gold – in English eyes certainly.  The Scottish Parliament is now in recess, and Scotland is basking in sunshine with soaring temperatures. So a bit of a hotch potch this week.    Some items from the Scots Independent newspaper Labour contradictory over Bedroom Tax Kevin Cordell   Policy pursued by a Westminster Government Scotland  rejected in 2010. The weapons ofRead More →

At the start of the Lunch, Denholm Christie, Acting Chairman of the Scots Independent newspaper, paid tribute to the late Jimmy Halliday, the former Chairman, who died on 3rd  January this year; a photo of Jimmy appeared on the screens as Denholm spoke. After introducing the top table, SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP and his wife Lily, Una Ozga, daughter of the late Oliver Brown, Finance Secretary John Swinney MSP and Jim Lynch Scots Independent Editor, Denholm admitted that he himself usually preferred to remain anonymous. SI Editor Jim Lynch presents the Oliver Brown Award to “Sean’s representative in Perth” – SNP President Ian HudghtonRead More →

New compiler;  We say farewell, on the Flag only, to Jennifer Dunn, who will still be writing in the Scots Independent, and welcome to Alison Thewliss;  Alison’s  first Flag will be next week.  She will give us a brief biography and a picture. Jennifer has been contributing to the Flag for quite some time; she has also been contributing to the Scots Independent since before I became Editor.     The Isle of Man I was most intrigued to read that First Minister Alex Salmond had written an article  in the Mail on Sunday on currency, and I looked in vain in Monday’s Herald, theRead More →

St Andrews On Monday 1st April I was reading with great interest a report about the Principal of St Andrew’s University, expressing her view that £9000 was a good price to pay for a degree from that institution; this, on the front page of the Herald, named the Principal as Professor Louise Richardson.  The report continued on Page 2, with a picture of Louise Robertson; in fairness they also did an interview and profile on her on Page 13. Such slips are commonplace in the Herald these days, but no correction was noted the following day, but then they had another slip that took upRead More →

  At long last we have the date of the Referendum, when  the people of Scotland  will be asked if we want Independence. We were asked in 1979 if we wanted an Assembly, and we voted “Yes”, but the iniquitous 40% rule, never used in any Referendum anywhere in the world, meant that the votes of even those who were dead counted as “No”; despite a “promise” of something better, the Tory Government scrapped the whole issue, a procedure they will slavishly follow if Scotland does not vote “Yes”. We were asked in 1997 if we wanted a Scottish Parliament, and one with financial powers,Read More →

That is the key fact which underlies the welter of figures, claims and counter-claims of recent days about Scotland’s economic prospects as an independent nation.  The discussion paper I prepared for the Scottish Cabinet around a year ago, and which is now in the public domain, demonstrates just how seriously the Scottish Government is approaching the task of managing Scotland’s finances as we look forward to the prospect of a Yes vote in the referendum next year The document is a serious, hard-headed look at some of the challenges and opportunities that will be presented by having control of all of our own resources forRead More →

  January editorial from Scots Independent As I have said, I will publish the Editorial from the preceding month’s Scots Independent. Here is the Editorial from January; it does not seem dated, as the Unionists   keep repeating their behaviour Depreciate and deprecate The Leveson Report is published on the day of writing.  We had some repartee at First Minister’s Questions, calmly spiked by Alex Salmond’s proposal that as no one had actually seen the report it would be more sensible to have the debate next week.  This very reasonable approach was somehow not to the liking of the ‘earnest concerned’ leader of the Liberal rump,Read More →