Some times, events overcome likes and dislikes and we are left wondering about the vagaries of life. Such a time came this week when political thoughts and rivalries are set aside in mourning for the victims of a tragic accident and the families of these victims. This is particularly poignant at a festive season, when the streets were full of people out buying Christmas presents, seeing the lights and the entertainment and generally full of goodwill. All this shattered by a freak, tragic and unthinkable accident involving a very mundane bin lorry; lives have been lost, and the lives of survivors and the families ofRead More →

Whatever your view over the Smith Commission outputs – a higgledy-piggledy list of all those powers which in reality are more heavy responsibilities than opportunities – the real test is going to be the longer-term outcome of instant gratification politics. From the hurried Vow steamrollered on the UK party leaders by GOrDon Brown, came forth an abridged Constitutional Convention which re-proclaimed the unwritten rule: power devolved is power retained. Pot noodle constitutional change: it’s fast, cheap, fills a hunger, but is not necessarily of nutritional value. The Unionists of Scotland may be rejoicing in the streets of Hawick tonight and Independistas everywhere are eventually comingRead More →

Alex Salmond has confirmed that he is going to stand for the Westminster seat of Gordon in 2015. While hardly a surprise, this widely trailed announcement is nonetheless a welcome early Christmas gift. Not one to have shied away from the less obvious path in his political career, Alex Salmond and the SNP will be working tirelessly between now and the election to convince Yes and No voters alike that their best interests are served by returning a large contingent of capable SNP MP’s to Westminster. On making his announcement to stand Alex said; “Three things are now self-evident. “Firstly, the Smith Commission has notRead More →

Readers will be aware that the Flag having been a forerunner on the web- it has been published every week since June 2000 – has been overtaken by such sites as Newsnet Scotland, Bella Caledonia and Wings over Scotland. This is not a complaint, we are only too pleased that these sites emerged in the cause of independence. What is the case is that the technology has moved very fast and I have not kept up with it – being old causes its own limitations! As from the start of 2015 The Flag in the Wind will be run by Margaret Hamilton, who is alreadyRead More →

Let me get today’s moan out of the road first. Two nuclear subs nearing the end of their lives are to be moved to the Clyde. One of the main reasons the UK government wanted to secure a no vote. They say that it will bring hundreds of jobs. How? The crew and their families are coming with the subs so no new jobs there. Any children in these families will perhaps help keep schools under threat open, but will this mean new jobs? Ditto with any shops, social amenities etc. If any of these businesses expand there may be new jobs, but there hasRead More →

Watching SNP conference this time from my living room instead of the auditorium offered a fascinating perspective on just how transformational the movement chasing Scotland’s independence has become. The Alex Salmond appreciation party seemed like a spontaneous eruption of goodwill, and it must have seemed remarkable to our opponents watching. I am not so certain had the result of the referendum been the other way round congratulations would have been dished out to their own campaign leaders. In many ways of course it brings the SNP to a crossroads. In a space of a few short weeks the party – which could have faced aRead More →

This week’s column comes ahead of SNP conference in Perth. I’m not sure how to feel about the normal business of party conference; resolutions, fringe events and the inevitable socialising, because everything prior to this conference had been leading up to the 18th of September. I knew when leaving Spring conference that however we came back together this November, we would be forever changed by our experiences. I didn’t imagine that we would be such a large party, and I hope to see plenty of new faces among the familiar ones. We have a great job to do as a party to initiate new members,Read More →

When McDuff poses the question at the beginning of Act 4 in Macbeth. Ross’s answer is far from encouraging and sums up how I expected to feel after a No vote in the referendum “Alas, poor country! Almost afraid to know itself.” And yet the reality of where Scotland stands today could not have been further from my fears. We have a reinvigorated party, trebling its membership with activists engaged and inspired by the Referendum campaign. A membership surge for whom we should thank every SNP YES activist who gave people the confidence to come and be part of the SNP. It is a tributeRead More →

  SCOTLAND: THE BATTLE FOR INDEPENDENCE By Gordon Wilson This is the second volume of the history of the Scottish National Party. Covering the years 1990-2014 it follows on from the author’s SNP:The Turbulent Years 1960-1990 which traced the development of the SNP from small beginnings as a pressure group to recognition as a major force in Scottish politics.Read More →

It’s not often that I agree with Jack McConnell but his view that the Scottish Labour party is in a quagmire of its own doing and heading to implosion, if not annihilation, had an air of candour that the Arran baron is not renowned for. Several commentators have taken a similar position. The ‘winners’ of the referendum are increasingly acting like losers and, vice versa, the ‘losers’ are going from strength to strength. Of course, it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise. The referendum campaign lasting over two years, imposed a strict discipline on most parties, but especially the Labour party. The private grumblingsRead More →