The SNP in Caithness has long had a difficult relationship with the Dounreay complex, a series of sites run by various companies and government departments catering for different developments but all with nuclear technology at their heart.  Whilst the party is firmly anti-nuclear, and many individual members share this view, there has never been any escaping the fact that Dounreay was the largest employer in the county and job security and career advancement whilst staying in your local area could override concerns either emotional or moral.  Always seen as unique in Scotland anyway, Caithneseian members trod a fine line between wanting the removal of theRead More →

I was recently given a copy of Gavin Esler’s book “How Britain Ends” and have thoroughly enjoyed having another perspective on the politics of these Islands. A large part of his book is devoted to exploring the rise and nature of English Nationalism. Its roots, attitudes and contrasts with the nationalisms of Scotland, Wales and Ireland (north and to a degree South).  He traces what is referred to as “nostalgic pessimism” as a root of English resentment at the loss of some Golden Age through the centuries.  In the words attributed to John of Gaunt in Shakespeare’s Richard 11 the most widely known part being theRead More →

The other day I saw a newspaper article shared on facebook. The article was by Andrew Wilson who was pointing out that it could take 7 years after an independence vote to get any agreement with Westminster. I didn’t follow the link as often you only get part of the article and have to subscribe to read the rest. (I don’t subscribe as I don’t have enough time to read them all)  He seemed to be referring to the way the current Westminster team were being less than constructive in making Brexit work. In my opinion the current squad are not a team, indeed notRead More →

Just as many of us are mulling over the new SNP Green alliance, I’m thinking dung.  This has no reflection on my support for green issues or any relationship which means a move to total Independence from all quarters.  But my daily existence as a farmer is looking at what is expected of the industry by the decision makers.  As agriculture, horticulture and all areas of the food and drink industry are the most regulated industries on the planet, we are not free to do as we like right now. Quite rightly so, as when we become an Independent nation food security should be given top ten billing,Read More →

We were lucky enough to partake in an online video meet with the First Minister tonight to discuss aspects of the agreement that will see the Scottish Greens have shared governance, and answer questions that SNP members might have.  It was very well attended but it was apparent that the members shared the same concerns and that these are not the concerns that those in the more populated areas of Scotland have.  The agreement has compromises relating to manifesto commitments and affords the Greens two ministerial posts.  Although in general the two parties share many similarities they are not the same and there is an undercurrentRead More →

Making news, telling stories and getting a message across is the daily workhorse of the public relations profession and something that I have been practising for over 20 years.  A headline today on Facebook News caught my attention: “Protestors claim to ‘seize’ Edinburgh Castle citing Magna Carta”. My first thought was some English nationalist group is making a bizarre claim for publicity purposes. However, delving into the article reveals that this was a group of independence supporters suggesting they were making a dramatic attempt to re-claim the iconic bastion of military dominance in the historic capital city. Well for a publicity stunt it certainly grabbedRead More →

It was good to see the results coming in from the East Livingston and East Calder by-election in West Lothian last week. Not just because it was a thumping win for the SNP from Labour but because it signalled that, despite all the mince which has flown across social media this summer, the voters are keeping their eyes on the prize even if others would rather debate the political equivalents of the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin.  The results also showed the continuation of what is beginning to look like a long term change in affiliations within theRead More →

As from the 9th of August most restrictions are to be lifted. We are being asked to continue with masks indoors and crowded places, as well as distancing when appropriate and good hygiene practices. It would seem that Douglas Ross, Conservative leader, cannot understand why we can’t just dismiss all precautions. He wants to Follow Mr Johnson’s lead. Well Douglas, I will tell you precisely why. Last week an online friend in Wales had to go into the office in an English city. She had been working from home for more than 18 months. She survived the office and a meal out with her colleagues. TheRead More →

As England begins its divergence from the rest of the UK in relation to Covid rules and regulations and relies on the public to do the right thing according to their conscience, the gap between England and the other nations grows wider.  With all restrictions lifted south of the border and a statement that we need to learn to live with the  virus, there was some backtracking at the last minute when the advice on masks changed from don’t wear them to wear them in crowded spaces if you wish.  Since then, things have continued to develop unsurprisingly with the Health Minister catching and recovering from covidRead More →

On Tuesday we have an interview televised with the sacked Mr Cummings. Everything he says about Mr Johnston is actually believable but is it anywhere near true? We have another previous cabinet minister say he sacked Mr Cummings and there are more ‘revelations’ to come. What we have learned during covid, with more time to pay attention, is that the current Conservative cabinet are a different kind of Conservative to those we are used to. I grew up knowing Conservatives as pretty decent people who held different views on certain subjects. In those days we knew only what they let us know. What a differenceRead More →