I try really hard not to watch Question Time on BBC1. Perhaps it is because I find David Dimbleby an ineffectual Chair, perhaps it is because I can guarantee Scotland will be mentioned with sneers and condescension or maybe it is because the whole format is just tired, jaded and run its course. A long, long time ago when there was still a degree of separation from politicians and the public, it was a respected political discussion show and the panel were accorded a level of dignity and respect due simply to their career choice. Nowadays things are, quite rightly, very different in that ourRead More →

Whether you call it trust, honesty or integrity it’s the single most important commodity in life and especially in politics. When trust goes out of a relationship there is rarely anything left of value. I was reminded of this simple fact again quite recently when watching that car crash of an interview poor Kez had with Andrew Neil on the back of Sadiq Khan’s speech to the Scotland Branch of Labour. Trying to defend the indefensible is never an edifying sight and Kez was in an impossible position. The more she refused to condemn Sadiq, the more distance she put between herself and the ordinaryRead More →

We have just arrived home from our annual visit to the beautiful Philippine Islands.  Breakfast of mangoes every morning and perpetual sunny skies.  Envious or what?  Of course that is not the whole story – leave the gated communities of the wealthy and witness the poverty suffered by so many of these lovely people.  Children beg at traffic light stops, they sleep on the streets. The “lucky” ones live in make-shift homes lining every highway. Such absolute poverty seems pitiable and disgraceful to the Western eye.  Beyond giving a few pesos to the beggars there seems little that can be done by the tourist. FeelingsRead More →

The comments by Sadiq Khan (which were toned down in his Labour Conference speech but widely reported in the media nonetheless) show that the campaign for the new independence referendum has started in earnest and independence supporters are going to face even worse lies and smears than in 2014.   Make no mistake, this wasn’t bad briefing or a simple misunderstanding of the Scottish political landscape. This was tactics. You don’t get to the dizzy heights of London Mayoral office without a large measure of political nous and the ability to finesse your arguments. You certainly don’t get there by going off-message at party conferences.Read More →

Strange things happening today; I customarily look at Wings Over Scotland and newsnetscotland more or less every day, but have been having a few problems, no doubt due to Windows 10, Word and general auld man’s incompetence.  However today when I clicked on newsnetscotland I got a big notice  “403 –  Access to this site is forbidden.”  So I have been unable to read the thoughts of Derek Bateman;  I tried going through his website but fell at the first twitter!  Might come all right.  Wings was OK.   I returned last week from a fortnight in Lanzarote, very nice.  My eldest son and hisRead More →

So, we have had yet another week of the Tory Westminster Government treating us like a bit of smelly pooh on the end of their foot. The behaviour of the English MPs towards the Scottish MPs has been diabolical. The Deputy Speaker certainly wore his heart on his sleeve in his treatment of Joanne Cherry last week during the Brexit debate. The Tory MPs were criticising John Berkow for his non impartiality over the Trump statement. Someone should pull Lindsay Hoyle up for his open hostility to elected members of his own house. So, as I write this on a sunny St Valentine’s day, whereRead More →

Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work was in Invergordon last week where he was one of the signatories of the £315m Inverness City Region Deal along with Lord Dunlop from the Scottish Office and Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council which is run by the minority administration of the nonsensically named “Independent Group”.  Lauded as investment to significantly enhance and improve the lives of all Highland residents when the proposal was first mooted hence its original name, the City and Region Deal, in a time of financial restraint, many Highland causes and groups welcomed potential investment into theirRead More →

You could be forgiven for thinking the Scottish Budget negotiations have gone awry. The first attempt to gain parliamentary approval failed to gain a majority. A second attempt has now been held but when the media invite went out for assembled hacks and snappers, it was to be during a visit by the Finance Cabinet Secretary, Derek Mackay, to Howdenhall Police Station. Was this a last minute public appearance before Derek entered the station to ‘assist police with their enquiries’? The mind boggled. A difficult week in a difficult time. A Scottish Budget that is at the mercy of smaller parties determined to secure concessionsRead More →