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 →