As we begin to approach the end of another year, I find myself reflecting on how the children have grown and matured over the months and how their priorities shift and their awareness deepens. They’ve always had it hard growing up in a politically engaged household and many times have been encouraged or coerced into attending meetings and helping at events. I have no doubt that many people disagreed with me when I involved them in what I was doing possibly thinking that I was indoctrinating them into my beliefs or forcing them to only see one political ideology but I would wholeheartedly disagree withRead More →

Sunday morning saw the clocks go back an hour as British Summer Time came to an end. Most of the day was spent trying to work out whether clocks had changed automatically or not and ending up thoroughly confused as to what time it was. We had been away for the weekend so when the kids woke at their usual time, we had to stop them from awakening the rest of the guest house at 6am; we also ended up leaving Perth an hour earlier than we had intended to because of clocks displaying the wrong time. It always takes me a while to feelRead More →

The First Minister visited the Nigg Energy Park in the constituency recently and saw the turbines that are bound for the world’s first large scale tidal wind farm. This will also be sited in the Far North; the MeyGen project, a forerunner in marine renewables, will change the way they are viewed around the world. Generating reliable, sustainable and clean energy for the consumer it will also add nearly £300 million to Scotland’s economy as well as providing employment, training opportunities and research developments which will be of global benefit. Work will begin on the placing of the first giant underwater turbines within the nextRead More →

The summer holidays have come to an end; hair is cut, bags are packed and bedtime battles once again ensue.  The family holiday was a few days in Fife, an area of the country that I had not visited for many years and a welcome change of scenery.  The children delighted in fruit farms and go carts, horse riding and play parks whilst I marvelled at the lack of travel time needed between towns.  When you are used to travelling several hours to the nearest city, 15 minutes commute from one large town to another takes a bit of getting used to and we wereRead More →

During the General Election campaign in 2015, I was stopped by a woman who identified herself as a natural SNP supporter but said that if a party would stand up for women her age, then it would get her vote. She went on to explain that she had now seen her anticipated retiral age be raised twice; already in ill health, she had a very real fear that she would never get to see her pension and she pleaded for somebody, somewhere to stand up for her generation. Caithness Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) was launched last week in a a effort to raiseRead More →

Sixteen and seventeen year olds were historically able to vote for the first time in the Scottish Referendum. Many people disagreed with this decision claiming that young people were not interested, did not know enough about the world, could not be trusted to choose properly and basically, should just leave anything important to the grown ups. There was a lack of understanding that whatever decision was reached would impact on these young people more than anyone else who was voting. The change in opportunities that could have arisen affect the younger generation far more than it would mine and my parents. Many teenagers relished theRead More →

With the dissolution of the Scottish Parliament on March 23 2016 came the retiral of our constituency MSP, Rob Gibson. Rob had been constituency MSP for Caithness, Sutherland & Ross since 2011 when he took the title from LibDem Jamie Stone and had been list MSP for the Highlands and Islands for eight years before that. For a constituency, indeed a region, that had been forever Liberal in all their guises, this was no mean feat and was the beginning of the changes that we would see throughout the country several years later. A long time SNP activist, he has devoted much of his lifeRead More →

We have 9 weeks of campaigning left for the Holyrood elections and I’m sure that many people were already looking forward to a well deserved rest after the last vote had been cast.  However, as suspected, that period of relaxation will have to wait a bit longer as we will be heading straight into the Euro Referendum and several more weeks of door chapping and street stalls. Canvassing is already seeing Europe as a discussion that many people want to have with you on the doorstep; some already know their mind and are only to eager to share it with you but many more areRead More →

In the week that we celebrate the birth of Scotland’s most famous poet, the words of “Caledonia – A Ballad” have often been at the front of my mind. “Thus bold, independent, unconquered and free, her bright course of glory for ever shall run, For brave Caledonia immortal must be.” Many of his poems sum up the beauty and the character of Scotland but to me, this one sums up what is yet to come as well as lament what has been lost; respect the past but welcome the potential of the future. There were many times in the run up to the Referendum whenRead More →

The first chartered flight of Syrian refugees arrived at Glasgow Airport recently bound for their new lives in Scotland; men, women and older children who have spent their last few years in the inhospitable confines of refugee camps, younger children who perhaps have no knowledge or memory of any other life than their pitiful existence there.  Yet uprooting your family with little more than the clothes on your back and walking hundreds of miles for safety from war offered by the camps is a decision that thousands of people have to make in order to live.  We can only hope that those on this firstRead More →