Those of us of a certain vintage, will recall singing along to Edwin Starr’s anti-Vietnam war anthem in the 70s. The response was “Absolutely nuthin” but perhaps that’s not the whole truth. Apart from the armaments industry and some mercenaries who are the obvious profiteers there are those especially on the right of politics who see the “blood and soil” version of nationalism as something worth fighting for. There are also those who see war as a potential unifying factor and this sadly includes many UK Governments down through the years who have used the concept of glory and valour to their own ends. BritainRead More →

COP 26 has finished. On Tuesday Prince Charles and wife fly out to Jordon on first Royal Tour since our battle started with Covid 19. What happened to all his green talking at the COP? An unnecessary trip just so he can cement relationships with the Royal family in another country. A relationship that already exists and could be caught up with via phone or internet. They are really doing this to show that our Royal family are back to normal and that being British is great. The contrast between the younger generations at COP 26 and our British establishment was glaringly obvious. The youngerRead More →

It would be so easy to write about the Owen Paterson debacle, UK Government’s failures at COP26 or Boris Johnson’s irrelevance on the world stage, demonstrated by his address to a near empty hall.  However, I have attended several meetings in the last couple of weeks organised by various organisations putting together their submissions to the United Nation’s Periodic Review of the UK’s Human Rights Record.  This is the first review since 2017 when the UN Special Rapporteur Mr Stig Langvad, wrote his scathing report which said that he had found evidence that the UK Government had committed “grave and systematic violation of the rights of personsRead More →

Watching COP26, and the hypocrisy I suspect will be much discussed after the scheduled benefits.  We all have a duty to curtail emissions, but how many of us actually go through the motions.  I would love to buy an electric car and ditch my diesel, but try being a pensioner and asking for a bank loan! However, few of us have the world watching what we do and whether you’re a world leader, broadcaster or weel kent face, it’s hard to hide the differences yet hard not to be frustrated by the double standards of the wealthy nations dictating to the poor, we all mayRead More →

I’m not long back from a week in London with my daughters that has been postponed several times in the last 18 months and spent the prior week panicking in case any of us were infected with Covid as once again rates in Wick were proportionately the highest in Highland. An abundance of masks, hand sanitiser and lateral flow tests packed to save time hunting for them when down there, we took the train to Inverness before flying south. I don’t think I’ve ever been on the train since masks were made mandatory without the majority complying and on the plane, it appeared to beRead More →

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I was reminded of this quotation in the tragic aftermath of the murder of Sir David Amess MP last Friday. It’s one which is often quoted but I now wonder just how much it is meant. Politics is about the clash of ideas, principles and persuasions or it is nothing but the day to day routine of administration. But to have a clash of ideas etc., you must be willing to hear what the other side is saying; just because they differ from you doesn’t make themRead More →

Those of us who were listening properly to the Brexiteers knew this would come to pass. All our lives are being affected by the bullish and totally unfounded shouting of Britain is Great. They seem to believe that waving lots of flags and blubbering partial sentences, using as big a word as possible in it, will magically make everything okay. I find it unbelievable that there are so many people out there who believe that Britain is a world leader. When was the last time Britain took the lead in something? In all my adult life I only remember them hanging on the coat tailsRead More →

The co-operation agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens to form a majority government in Scotland has rattled the Unionist cages like nothing before it. The shrill reaction from Tories, Labour and Lib Dems is testimony to their fear of an independence majority and to their de facto united front in opposition to a second independence referendum. The original design of the Scottish Parliament by the Consultative Steering Group is being trashed by this toxic partisanship on the constitutional question as battle lines are drawn from Chamber to Committee rooms. The SNP say ‘it is’ and the Unionist chorus rejoin ‘oh no it isn’t’; straight out of a pantomime playbook. The CSG recognisedRead More →

With the onset of Winter, it is hoped not one of discontent, but with the obvious effects of Covid and Brexit there is an air of frustration and anger in the stupidity of it all, when so many had raised the questions but were dismissed as scaremongering. Covid has blindsided every nation, but evicting our European NHS staff and facing a vile virus at the same time seems like a perfect storm.  A storm we are all being pummelled with.  I know many within the European communities in Scotland feel they are no longer welcome here,  although Scotland voted to stay in, and MSPs haveRead More →

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 →