“The moving finger writes and having writ moves on, nor all thy piety nor wit, shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it” This quotation from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam sprang to mind as I was considering how quickly political events are moving, or even not moving! The main driver of politics this year has been Brexit. We seem to have gone from the heady hysteria of “£350 million a week for the National Health Service” to the Tory Government attempting to evade the consequences and haggling about the exit price. In allRead More →

#BelikeStAndrew This St Andrew’s Day is going to be something really special. On November 30, Scotland is coming together to share little acts of kindness with each other in tribute to our kind and generous patron saint. The Scottish Government is asking the public to do a good deed on St Andrew’s Day to celebrate Scotland’s history, culture and the nation’s shared values. The #BeLikeStAndrew campaign marks the start of Scotland’s Winter Festivals – which opens with St Andrew’s Day, followed by Hogmanay, and then Burns Night. Charity partners Princes Trust Scotland, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland, Crisis Scotland, have joined the Scottish Rugby UnionRead More →

A great deal has been said and written about developments in Catalonia over recent months. A great deal less has been said and written about developments in the Kurdish regions in Norther Iraq, Syria as well as Turkey. Personally, I have tried not to get engaged in discussing (and especially not advising) the people on what to do. Partly because I was furious about constant interference in our affairs in 2014 and even when the interventions were meant to be helpful, my gut reaction was to think “keep your neb out of Scotland’s decision”. Partly because the scenarios are both disturbingly familiar and seriously scary.Read More →

That is a question every Nationalist of a certain age can answer.  I wish I could tell you that I was at the Hamilton Count!  Alas, however, I was 3,000 miles away in Dover, Delaware.  I had joined the Party in Ayr two years previously – but here I was in bloody Delaware when all was happening for the SNP!  However, it was world news, and I remember NBC covering Winnie’s triumphant train journey to Westminster and the tears of joy were running down my face. I returned from exile the next year and things were still buzzing with Winnie taking Westminster on single-handedly!  IRead More →

I know that there are a lot of people in Scotland following the latest from Catalonia and looking for parallels with our own push for independence but the situation in Catalonia is nothing like that in Scotland. In Catalonia their democratically elected government called a referendum on independence for which, unlike here, there was no prospect of agreement with the Spanish Government. This was a move long in the making and despite the brutal repression from the Spanish state on referendum day, many turned out to vote, with the turnout topping 50% once the votes that were stolen by the security forces are included. ItRead More →

Europe’s oldest independently run political newspaper The other week saw us take the Scots Independent newspaper to yet another conference. Conferences are important to attend as we engage with many of our subscribers and contributors as well as meeting potential new subscribers. Conferences have become so large these days that often delegates never find their way to the exhibitors hall due to the distance between it and the auditorium. Many new delegates do not know what the exhibitors’ hall is about and those who find their way to us often say ‘never knew you existed’ or ‘never heard of you’. So this week I amRead More →

Observing the recent scenes from Catalonia and the appalling treatment of free citizens being treated as criminals in a way that would not be tolerated under any criminal justice law, I  was disappointed at how mealy mouthed the European Union treated this disgrace. The Spanish Government made great play as to how the Catalaonians were behaving unconstitutionally; it seems that anything the Catalans want is unconstitutional. Now here’s a thought – the UK does not have a constitution, a factor the Unionists seem quite proud of, so why cannot Scotland just declare UDI?  Also in that context, they seem to like to refer to theRead More →

It may be messy. It may be frustrating. It may even be dangerous but the Catalan government continues to progress their case for independence with guile and right on their side. From silly mistakes like allowing the King of Spain to harangue Catalans on prime telly to the very sinister and offensive actions of the Civil Guardia, the Spanish establishment led by Mariano Rajoy have become Europe’s democratic clowns, forcing other EU member states into embarrassing associations with violence against peaceful electors. Boris Johnson’s FCO and personal tweets supporting the ‘rule of law’ as justification for the use of brute force by Spanish national policeRead More →