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 →

A favourite family film is Mary Poppins and, from an early age, my daughters have marched around the house singing “Sister Suffragettes” without understanding the story in the film.  Now slightly older, their awareness of the struggles faced in previous generations is developing and they’re currently moaning that they’re too young to go and see the new Suffragette film that is out.  The beginning of the week had seen my middle child and I visit London for a few days and during the obligatory Westminster tour, she was delighted to see the broom cupboard in which Emily Davison hid overnight to allow her to voteRead More →

The SNP Constituency candidates have all now been chosen and the Regional List selection procedures are well underway throughout the country. Up here in the Highlands, Fergus Ewing was reselected to stand for Inverness & Nairn with Orkney’s Professor Donna Heddle from the UHI’s Centre of Nordic Studies standing against LibDem Liam McArthur for her home seat. We are sadly losing two well respected and experienced parliamentarians as they retire – Dave Thompson, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch and Rob Gibson, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland & Ross although their successors look likely to be a popular choice for the electorate. Replacing Dave isRead More →