If I appear ill informed please excuse me; I have just returned from a two week holiday in Tenerife and have been deprived of two weeks of Herald headlines. I also only saw occasional flashes of David Cameron and a smirking Nigel Farage, but I am a stoic so will not complain. Better Together I found it amusing to watch the performance of Mr Barosso, outgoing President of the European Community. It is not so long ago that he was fulminating about Scotland’s accession , or rather assimilation into the European Union. His pompous threats were music to the English Unionists’ ears, said Unionists includingRead More →

As I write this I am also preparing a wee talk on the structure of the SNP and how it works for a branch meeting later this week. As of yesterday we now have 223 members. We have had to hire the theatre space at the local high school, just in case everyone wants to come and participate. It is scary but at the same time exciting. Nothing about a branch meeting will ever be the same again, hopefully. Wonder how it will all pan out? What exciting ideas will these new members have? At the same time there is a 6 hour debate happeningRead More →

It would be a gross understatement to note a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since my last column. Any reader familiar with the Scottish independence debate – surely you all are by now – will be acquainted with the same sensation. The Editor and fellow columnists Grant and Alison have both written observant articles since 19 September, when the realisation dawned on us all the vote didn’t quite go the way we planned. Saying that, of course, the events which followed the ballot have been almost overwhelming – certainly for those of us in the pro-independence camp – but I suspect forRead More →

To win in every single constituency in Glasgow, but lose the referendum was quite a surreal feeling; we’d given it our all in Shettleston, the culmination of everything we’d learned. Volunteers worked incredibly hard; we surpassed all canvassing and leafleting targets. Ballot box sampling giving encouraging results. Standing in Emirates Arena with my baby daughter in my arms, hearing the returning officer confirm that Glasgow had voted Yes, when we all knew Scotland had, with a few notable exceptions, voted No was bittersweet. But yet, the strangest thing was yet to come; out of Friday and Saturday’s despair, people began joining the SNP in droves.Read More →

Gutted. Hurt. Sad. Grief. Angry. Shocked. The list goes on as Yes supporters digest the realisation that the culmination of their hard efforts – over weeks, months and years for many activists – resulted in coming close but not close enough. Many talk with frustration at their fellow Scots. Feart. Shame. Traitors. Fools. We say these things in anger, just one stage of several in the process of coping with loss. That has to stop. We will never win by insulting those we need to win over. And we still have a cause to win. That is the focus of this piece. As the dustRead More →

Today Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party announced his resignation from both posts; he accepted responsibility for failing to win independence and felt very strongly that the SNP would benefit from a new leader, and the Scottish Parliament from a new First Minister. I am very sad that Alex is standing down, and this came as a complete surprise to myself and to all in the SNP. He has identified what we have all noticed and that is the grassroots campaign, non party political, and puts his trust in them. However, while respecting his decision, I do notRead More →

In 1979, before the Referendum, a former Prime Minister, Lord Douglas Home, Tory, said “Vote No and we will give you something better” While Scotland did not vote No, not enough voted Yes to win the Referendum; the devolution project was dumped and the “something better” was Margaret Thatcher. In 2014, before this Referendum, a former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, Labour, has said “Vote No and we will give you something better”. There was no devolution question on the ballot paper, Westminster’s rule, and thousands of postal ballots had been cast before this non option was mentioned! Margaret Thatcher has gone, but this very week,Read More →

Well, what a week. Mr Murphy has been egged in Fife. Rumour has it that we, the public, weren’t playing ball by reacting to his rabble rousing tactics so one of his team had to do it for us. The fire set alight at a Glasgow Yes hub wasn’t quite such a humorous matter. There was the distinct possibility life, human or animal, could have been put at risk. On a lighter note, the actor in the better together campaign broadcast turning out to be a yes voter in real life was a real hoot. As she said, it pays the bills and a lessonRead More →

In three weeks Scotland’s history will be divided into two clear and distinct periods – pre and post #indyref With a Yes vote the relentless leafletting and canvassing will cease almost overnight and conversations in cafes, pubs, streets will no longer centre on what work we have been doing to convince waverers – but instead will centre on the kind of Scotland we want to live in. Scotland’s out of date system of governance will have been overturned and its people will finally have opened the door of Whitehall, demanding the right to democratically elected governments which we voted for. A Yes vote is nowRead More →

Sitting writing this at 5 o’clock on Thursday 21 Aug, while the rain batters down – mistyped that word – became betters! Freudian slip or just carelessness? This has not been a good week for the Better Together lot. They keep howling about privatisation of the NHS in Scotland being a monstrous lie. I think that Kirsty Wark also took that view when interviewing Alex Salmond. I suspect that what is wrong with them is that they do not understand the significance of the Barnett formula; they are correct to say that the NHS in Scotland is run by the Scottish Government, who are deadRead More →