Can I kick off this week with a reminder of the by-election in Aberdeen Donside constituency? Any help at all will be much appreciated. So no apologies for reminding you. This week we decided with spring in the air that we should replace our winter wind battered Saltire with a nice new one. We phoned our usual supplier and he said “would you like a new YES one? Silly question really. If you would also like a YES flag for your flagpole please contact James Stevenson (flags) ltd, 75 Westmoreland Street, Glasgow, G42 8LH Tel 0141 423 5757 http://www.stevensonflags.com/index2.htm   It was mentioned at ourRead More →

New compiler;  We say farewell, on the Flag only, to Jennifer Dunn, who will still be writing in the Scots Independent, and welcome to Alison Thewliss;  Alison’s  first Flag will be next week.  She will give us a brief biography and a picture. Jennifer has been contributing to the Flag for quite some time; she has also been contributing to the Scots Independent since before I became Editor.     The Isle of Man I was most intrigued to read that First Minister Alex Salmond had written an article  in the Mail on Sunday on currency, and I looked in vain in Monday’s Herald, theRead More →

I could not sit down to write my SI article without reflecting on the passing of Brian Adam MSP.  I met Brian a number of years ago at the Livingston by-election. Dutifully, trying to raise money for the campaign, I tried to sell him a raffle ticket! A mistake to be made only once in a lifetime. So it was with some trepidation that as newly elected MSP I was summoned to the Whips Office.  Brian immediately put me at my at ease and explained, without a hint of irony, that if I did what I was told, when I was told to do it,Read More →

I fear that I am going to lose the will to live before getting to cast my YES vote. Every week is another absolutely obvious lie from the No camp. This week we are not going to be able to use the pound. Why not? I know that economics is well beyond my ken, but surely it’s not just because Alistair Darling, Danny Alexander and George Osborne say so? I heard more than one economics professor on the radio state that they were playing political games and there was no reason why we couldn’t use the pound. Other countries have managed to become Independent ofRead More →

Since Thatcher died, there have been acreages of news coverage. So, coming to write this on Thursday, there’s already been numerous feminist perspectives, commentary by those on the left and the right, and arguments about just about any aspect of Thatcherism, from the poll tax to the Belgrano to the miners’ strike, Hillsborough, Northern Ireland and, well, just about everything she ever did when she was in office. There are already loads of reflective pieces out there about growing up under Thatcher. My abiding memories are of my father heading out to go on strike one dark morning, my older brother and sister struggling toRead More →

St Andrews On Monday 1st April I was reading with great interest a report about the Principal of St Andrew’s University, expressing her view that £9000 was a good price to pay for a degree from that institution; this, on the front page of the Herald, named the Principal as Professor Louise Richardson.  The report continued on Page 2, with a picture of Louise Robertson; in fairness they also did an interview and profile on her on Page 13. Such slips are commonplace in the Herald these days, but no correction was noted the following day, but then they had another slip that took upRead More →

I was extremely honoured this week, along with my colleagues, to be in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament when our First Minister made the announcement about the date of the referendum  “…It is worth reflecting just for a moment on the privilege that this nation and this generation will have: nothing less than the privilege of choosing the future course of our country, in a democratic referendum that is made here in Scotland. We have been on a journey since 1999 and the restoration of our Parliament, here in the heart of our ancient capital. We have witnessed a growing confidence and increase inRead More →

  At long last we have the date of the Referendum, when  the people of Scotland  will be asked if we want Independence. We were asked in 1979 if we wanted an Assembly, and we voted “Yes”, but the iniquitous 40% rule, never used in any Referendum anywhere in the world, meant that the votes of even those who were dead counted as “No”; despite a “promise” of something better, the Tory Government scrapped the whole issue, a procedure they will slavishly follow if Scotland does not vote “Yes”. We were asked in 1997 if we wanted a Scottish Parliament, and one with financial powers,Read More →

That is the key fact which underlies the welter of figures, claims and counter-claims of recent days about Scotland’s economic prospects as an independent nation.  The discussion paper I prepared for the Scottish Cabinet around a year ago, and which is now in the public domain, demonstrates just how seriously the Scottish Government is approaching the task of managing Scotland’s finances as we look forward to the prospect of a Yes vote in the referendum next year The document is a serious, hard-headed look at some of the challenges and opportunities that will be presented by having control of all of our own resources forRead More →

So, according to the Mail on Sunday all that is British will be dead and gone when Independence is declared. In some cases maybe a good thing. But the scaremongering continues……………….. Car tax will go. Don’t think so. We pay it direct to our own tax office but we’ll still pay it, how else will we fund the roads? If the tax does go it will because Mr Swinney has thought of another way to go about things. No National Lottery. Don’t think so. You can buy the Euro lottery and the Irish lottery tickets here so why not the UK one? If they stopRead More →