It hasn’t taken long for newly elected SNP councillors to make their mark on Glasgow politics. This week, Feargal Dalton will put forward a motion to full council, calling for a memorial to the victims of famine to be built on the city. The memorial will commemorate the Irish Potato Famine, the Highland Potato Famine, and victims of past and current famines from across the world. There are famine memorials, particularly associated with the Irish Potato Famine, already in many cities in Ireland, the UK and further afield. Cardiff and Liverpool, which acted as a major transit point for both Irish people arriving in EnglandRead More →

So that’s it then.  Over.  The summer, I mean. Whatever became of the sunshine greater forces than us can only know.  Sean Batty, for one.  Perhaps Cat Cubie.  Must ask should I bump into either of them anytime soon.   September is most certainly upon us, and with it all that autumn brings.  Harvest time, birds flying back to warmer climes, that is if they haven’t had the innate sense to do so long before now, schoolchildren skipping merrily on their way to class, universities welcoming their new intake,  oh, and of course, the return of Parliamentarians to their respective debating chambers.  In Edinburgh, London,Read More →

Maybe now the pageantry of the Royal Tour, Wimbledon, the Olympics and the Edinburgh Festival is over and done with we can perhaps get back to normal on radio and t.v. Might there be a chance we might just find out what is actually going on in the world? I know we have the internet but I like my routines, like news at 1pm and 6 p.m. It’s an age thing. I think I am going to ask to get into the grumpy old gits groups on fb for nationalists of a certain age! Remember the furore over the cost of the Scottish Parliament building?Read More →

  One might imagine that during a Parliamentary recess that the Scottish Parliament building would go into a mothballed state, with a vacant, voiceless chamber and unlit, unused committee rooms. But not so for Mirralles’ masterpiece!  As the doors open to release the MSPs retreating to their constituencies for the long break, the Scottish Parliament breathes in new life, new visitors, new ideas and new wisdom.  Always a place where people are welcome, indeed often cried the Peoples’ Parliament, this summer the Scottish Parliament welcomed the world at the inaugural International Culture Summit.  A joint venture between the Scottish Government, the UK Government, the BritishRead More →

In so far as these things can be measured, London 2012 was undoubtedly a huge success.  We could be picky and point to ticketing problems during the first week and we should not forget the tragic death of a cyclist caused by a collision with a bus serving the Olympic Park on the very day Bradley Wiggins won his hugely impressive time trial gold medal.  But, all in all, we enjoyed a great festival of sporting endeavour.   Never Mind the Ball, Get on with the (predictable) Game There were many magnificent performances, not least from Scottish participants, to celebrate.  It does a disservice toRead More →

Watching the footage of Ian Davidson on Newsnight earlier this week, it’s difficult to conclude that it’s anything but a masterclass of how not to give a TV interview. In case you haven’t seen it already, Davidson was being interviewed by Isobel Fraser about the Scottish Affairs Committee report into the referendum. The interview degenerated into Davidson accusing the presenter and program of being biased towards the SNP. You can see it for yourself here –www.youtube.com It starts off badly. Davidson’s ranting about lawyers seems quite silly. The interview really begins to go downhill at Davidson’s repeated use of “Newsnat Scotland”. It’s cringeworthy. But weRead More →

Being of sound mind – well sometimes – I did not watch any of the fanfare of the opening of the Olympic Games, but the newspaper reports  reminded of a famous Scots quote of yesteryear, no doubt apochryphal: “Ah dinna ken if it was a wedding or a funeral – but it was a grand affair”. The other quote which sprang to mind, possibly more apt, was from the journalist Chris Baur  after the 1979 Referendum.  He said it was “the last kick of the dying horse”, a quote which will go down with Lord George Robertson’s one that a Scottish Parliament would “kill ScottishRead More →