The United Kingdoms of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had an advisory referendum in June on whether to leave the European Union. 51.89% of the public who bothered to vote, did so to leave. 48.11% of these voters wanted to remain. This meant that the government were going to remove us from the European Union on a vote with a majority of 3.78%. In my book that is hardly a decisive majority. I would say it was too close to call! So we all panicked. Argued over what it was going to mean to our different sections of society. Scotland’s First Minister immediately startedRead More →

As I continue to fill in for Jim Lynch (who is mending well) I noticed that on Monday of this week he had a rather long letter in the Herald. Told you he was mending. As it was about oil and given that today (Tuesday) the oil workers are striking, I thought I would share JIm’s letter for those who haven’t seen it. Margaret.     I have to confess that, unlike John- Paul Marney, I am not an oil production expert (Letters 19 Jul 16) so would not regard the Wood Mackenzie report on shale extraction as bedtime reading.  However I am well awareRead More →

What is Trident. I mean, apart from the obvious weapon of mass destruction. Everything I have read leads me to the conclusion that it is merely a way of the big boys measuring their worth. The ‘would be important’ peoples’ version of ‘mine is bigger than yours’ Why would you want to have weapons of mass destruction? Bear in mind we invaded another country our UK government felt had no right to have them. What makes us so special we should have them? Although Trident was designed as a strategic deterrent, the end of the Cold War led the British government to conclude that a sub-strategic –Read More →

I sit here some 38 hours before polls open for the referendum. You will be reading it near close of poll or after. I am singularly uninspired. Just as well I voted by post before the depths of this campaign became apparent. Things came to a crashing halt last Thursday with the despicable killing of someone who had only ever sought to make conditions better for everyone. Whether it was charity work abroad in third world or war torn countries or at home in her beloved Yorkshire. I had been preparing myself for some sort of violence erupting as we got closer to polling day.Read More →

For the first time in my adult voting life I am scared. Really, I seriously am. Terrified that the Conservative elite have dragged us into this position because they could not understand their electorate and see this as the solution to internal party battles and as a reaction to UKIP. The only people we are hearing anything from are the privileged in society. They are throwing monetary figures around without doing any of the sums and appealing to the fears of the lowest common denominator of the population. Each side are just lobbying verbal bombs at each other, appear to have no strategy and absolutelyRead More →

STURGEON, LUCAS AND WOOD FOCUS ON BENEFITS ON EU MEMBERSHIP   Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood and Green MP Caroline Lucas have today called on those who share progressive values, believe in the protection of human and social rights and support equality to back membership of the EU in the referendum next month. Encouraging people to register to vote, in order to protect the benefits of the EU the three leading politicians met in the shadow of the statue to Emmeline Pankhurst at Westminster to issue a joint statement in support of EU membership. Scotland’s First Minister and SNP Leader NicolaRead More →

In the fuggy, sleep deprived day that is the day after polling it was hard to find all the facts and figures of the poll. Listening to the media was of no use. Admittedly the S.N.P. made the top headline on the B.B.C. English news which startled me. Listening to Radio Scotland however was a different game. They were in deep mourning at the reduced size of the Scottish Labour parliamentary group and ecstatic about the surge in the Scottish Conservative representation. Clever wee Willie is now the proper M.S.P. for his daddies part of Fife. No mention thought of the Greens overtaking the LiberalRead More →

If you are reading this on the day it goes out, you will either have voted or are about to go. If not, get your shoes on and get yourself to the polling station. It’s been a weird experience this election. Most of the political commentators say this too. Possibly one of the most striking reasons is that women have been to the fore, and youngish women at that. It gladdens the heart to see so many younger people taking on the powers that be and agreeing with Nicola and her team that things can be done differently in this new (ish) century. I heardRead More →

Ian and I have been out of the campaign loop the past few weeks. We have done what we can but many other things have been happening to take up our time. Changed days from when we were at the centre of everything! We are literally, as I write this, just back from a few days in Dublin. We planned this visit a year ago as we were alerted to the celebrations that were taking part to commemorate the Easter Rising of 1916. We naturally assumed that the real celebrations were to be on the exact date as this fell on the same Sunday asRead More →

So, this past week has seen all the parties state what they would do about local tax if they are in government after May 5th, or did they? Ruth Davidson’s Tories don’t seem to have said anything except that it would be bad not to give those in the 40p tax bracket the added £2000 to limit where starting to pay the 40p begins. From what I can see the SNP are only going to raise that threshold by £387, the rate of inflation. By sticking with what the Tory chancellor has announced, Ruth would lose Scotland an income of £120 million in the nextRead More →