This is the October Editorial. As I watched First Minister’s Questions this week, the quote came to me “Oh what can ail thee knight-at-arms, alone and palely loitering”  I suppose it was looking at the Labour benches, who sat, in thrall, as in the poem, but definitely not enthralled, as their leader dragged them doggedly further and further into the mire. We had been expecting some sort of a fightback from the Unionists, making a case for staying in the Union, but this was a very strange way to introduce it, and it flies in the face of reality.  We have had five years ofRead More →

When is a power not a power?  When you are the President of the USA it seems. Barack Obama was meant to be different.  Not being in the pocket of vested interests when first elected was meant to give him a free hand to sweep the same away.  But the inertia of office soon kicked in and any hope of radical change was quickly extinguished.  In many ways, this might have been just as well for, had expectations not been reset so early, his re-election might not have been so straightforward and who knows what course the US would be embarking on now. Already beingRead More →

On the fringes of Europe, a nation chooses whether or not to plunge itself into isolation, removing itself from the rest of the world. Business will falter as a result of this narrow minded parochial mindset. Families scattered across borders could find it more difficult to meet each other. What could, arguably, be seen as national pride and the desire for a nation to run its own affairs could be taken and twisted into a country having a smaller place on the world stage, and regressive effects on trade, culture and diplomacy. David Cameron’s plans for a referendum on the EU is far more isolationistRead More →

4 December, 2012 First Minister invites cross-party suggestions on press group Necessary for Scottish Parliament to act on self-regulation criteria – FM First Minister Alex Salmond today invited the main opposition parties to suggest suitable candidates to sit on the implementation group that he has proposed be set up to determine how self-regulation of the press can be recognised in Scots law following the Leveson report. Speaking at Holyrood, the First Minister said that whatever type of voluntary self-regulation model was devised by the press in the wake of Leveson, it was necessary for the Scottish Parliament to set the criteria by which any newRead More →

Not so long ago I seem to remember the unionists criticising the S.N.P. for wrapping themselves in the Saltire as though this was a bad thing to do. Fast forward to this past week when the Scottish Conservatives have changed their logo. They have attempted to use the Saltire while trying to keep it incorporated in the Union Flag (please note flag, not jack!). Two shades of blue slashes with a slash of red. Rather obviously this has been named the double cross logo. Were P.R. or design people paid for this?   What’s in a Name? Meanwhile poor Jim Murphy just cannot keep upRead More →

Of the many improvements devolution has provided Scotland, the able stewardship of the NHS under Nicola Sturgeon, and now Alex Neil, has undoubtedly made it clear to any observer just how seriously the issue of the country’s poor health record is taken by the SNP government. The report published earlier this week by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH), however, certainly puts the leaps and bounds made by devolved government into some perspective. Amongst its conclusions, its noting that Scotland’s working age population has the worst mortality rate out of 19 European countries is a sobering reminder that there remains a long way toRead More →

I was shocked to read in my local press this week that Labour controlled North Lanarkshire Council’s education chiefs are paying private firms £729million to build schools worth around just a fifth of that amount. North Lanarkshire Council have saddled a generation of taxpayers with an enormous debt by entering into a 31-year Private Finance Initiative to build schools. The local authority says the arrangement provides “excellent education in first-class facilities” for children. But so does prudential borrowing without the huge costs. PPP/ PFI funding has been widely condemned for offering poor value for money and this is why it was replaced by the SNPRead More →

The days since the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement have been marked by vicious and very personal attacks on the Scottish Government and Alex Salmond in particular.  For once the genesis of this is not in hatred of the SNP, Alex Salmond or the thought of Independence.  It is a reaction to the sudden recognition of how damaging the Edinburgh Agreement is to the Unionist cause by those that purport to represent it. So obsessed were David Cameron and his array of Labour and LibDem helpers in Better Together in ensuring that only one question would be put before the people of Scotland, they completelyRead More →

Last week was a fairly bad week for the Party, and there’s no getting away from that. Two resignations in the Parly group and a host of bad headlines about legal advice – and everyone’s lining up to give the government a kicking. It’s true that many of the activists are unhappy about Nato – I’d count myself amongst that. But then, it would be a very small party if everyone had to agree with every single policy, and the basic premise that people put aside differences to work for a common cause of a nuclear-free independent Scotland still holds true today as it hasRead More →

I write this the day after S.N.P. conference finished. I saw on Facebook this morning that Douglas Fraser has likened the S.N.P. leadership’s control over the membership as akin to North Korean control. He really must get out of the press box when at these affairs. As in all large groups there will be the sheep that blindly follow the leadership but in the S.N.P. there are many who question and debate, sometimes vote with the leadership, sometimes don’t. I reckon this number is possibly reflected in the numbers in the result on the N.A.T.O. debate. Talking of which, the N.A.T.O. debate was the firstRead More →