This week is a fairly momentous one for Scotland. I saw this morning the videos and pictures on social media of the light show on the Queensferry Crossing to mark the hand over in ownership of the bridge. I give not a toss for the ‘official’ opening by Her Majesty. This was the true celebration of the completion of the bridge. The men and women, in their work gear, handing over what had been their baby for 6 years. The people who braved all the elements of weather the Forth estuary has to offer to produce a unique design in engineering. What brought aRead More →

I started off this Flag with the purpose of covering the very first issue of the Scots Independent in November 1926, but the current political situation decreed I should do more, so here is a miscellany of recent events.   Brian Cox  was a surprise guest at Alex Salmond Unleashed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; he sees the arrival of Brexit  as making the second independence referendum inevitable. I met him briefly at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on the 2014 referendum night – good memories of Brian Cox, bad memories of the referendum.   His comment that the Yes campaign has to get its act togetherRead More →

My two elder children received their first mobile phones last week in preparation for starting high school and although a means to an end for my son, it’s been hard to separate my daughter from hers whilst the novelty is fresh; I apologise to the few family members whose numbers she has for the bombardment of text messages they have been receiving! As well as the expected texting, phoning and selfies that have ensued, I have also been surprised by the amount of interest that she has been taking in the news when on the internet and I’ve frequently had breaking news headlines relayed toRead More →

by Michael Rennie Our democracy is lost at sea. As the political landscape changes at a rapid pace, Britain’s voting system needs to reflect the ever changing views of the British electorate. In modern political times, voting is like supermarkets, voters shop around to find the best deal rather than vote for one party all their lives. The two horse race days are well and truly over. For too long now, the views of a large chunk of the British electorate has been brushed aside and thrown into the political wilderness, as if they are completely meaningless because of a voting system stuck in VictorianRead More →

I saw someone on Facebook the other day saying “how hard” it was to be a Nationalist since the General Election result!  Some people don’t know what “hard” is!  The “hard stuff” has all been done over many, many years.  We are now in the situation, where over half the Scottish population thinks that Independence is inevitable.  Compare that to when I first joined the SNP. My first General Election was in 1966 – unfortunately we did not have a candidate running in Ayr (I had to spoil my paper!) and our National share of the vote was 5%.  The following year, of course ,weRead More →

For some considerable time now I have struggled to understand why the Scottish Government’s decision to implement the minimum unit pricing policy has been such a bug bear to the Scottish Whisky Association. Way back we used to go to their fringe meeting at SNP conference. They were a nice bunch of guys who chatted informally while allowing the invited delegates to try different whiskies. When we started the Moray Whisky fundraiser stall for Moray SNP constituency they were extremely complimentary of our display and promotion of the Speyside malts. Two things happened. Firstly, the wooden marquee bouncy floor and health and safety meant noRead More →

In June’s SI I touched on the stickier than usual response we’d been getting on the doorsteps in Aberdeenshire, both for the local and the Westminster elections. It’s something which had been apparent for a while, but even then, it was hard to imagine that MPs of the stature of Alex Salmond and Eilidh Whiteford might be in any serious danger of losing their seats. Just how wrong can you be? On the surface it looks like a remarkable turnaround for the politics of an area which has long had competing Tory and deeply anti-Tory tendencies. However, before our mood turns as blue as theRead More →

Over the course of a good number of years working as a Training Developer in the Civil Service, one of the early things I learned was the importance of doing a “What have we learned” session at the end of each event. It was a great way of working out what went well, where we needed to make improvements and also as a “Team Builder”. There were few punches pulled, on occasion an ego or two might get slightly bruised and we celebrated the things which worked and as our unofficial motto had it “copy with pride” any good ideas or processes from others. OverRead More →