Speech by John Swinney, seeking election as leader of the SNP I would like to thank you, Lorna, and the Party staff for the professional way this leadership process has been run at such short notice – enabling the Scottish National Party to get back on the front foot so quickly. A year ago, even a week ago, I did not think my future would involve standing here accepting the Leadership of the Scottish National Party. Things have turned out differently and before I say any more about my leadership I want to pay tribute to Humza Yousaf. He has conducted himself throughout the lastRead More →

Once again, the Scottish branches of the unionist parties have absolutely no interest in what happens to the SNP. We are merely pawns in their game of who will control the Westminster Parliament. The SNP are merely punch bags, so they don’t actually knock lumps out of each other. They care not a jot whether we are doing a good or a bad job, just so long as the media is reporting that we are doing a very bad job. I have dipped in and out of different social media posts over the past few days. Some people are making comments that explain their thinking,Read More →

The Andrew de Moray Project was created to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Andrew de Moray’s 1297 North Rising. Each year in May we rally at Ormond Hill, Avoch in the Black Isle where a new Saltire is hoisted on the flagpole on the cairn which we built and was first unveiled in 1997. We are pleased to continue that old community tradition started in the 1930s. In 2024 our march and flag raising at Ormond Hill takes place on Saturday afternoon 18th May. You can celebrate the fame of a Scottish hero whose castle at Ormond Hill was the base for his successful guerrillaRead More →

I suspect that the next General Election, whether it’s in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter this year, will turn not on which Party has the most positive platform or indeed charismatic Leader. It’s looking increasingly likely that it will in fact be a vote against a tired, corrupt and immoral Tory Government which has patently run out of steam and in favour of a boring, clueless and utterly uninspiring Labour Party which is devoid of policy, principle or ambition even before polling day never mind after years in Government. Labour do though have one big thing going for them: they’re not the Tory Party. If ever there was an electionRead More →

I was struck by a report, I think in The Guardian, that only 2% of school students are taught about the Middle East. Apparently, it’s too contentious and too hard, perhaps because of the pernicious roles played by many British Governments! Speaks volumes about the education system. For many, it’s a war which focuses on perceived victimhood and to a very large extent that depends on the start date you choose. For some the conflict started on October 7 when Hamas launched its assault on Israel and the resultant savagery. But as the UN has pointed out, this did not happen in a vacuum. For at least a decade, in Israel, and indeedRead More →

This week saw the service of thanksgiving in Edinburgh for King Charles and Queen Camilla. The UK has already spent well over £100 million on the State Coronation. Now we are to have more pomp, ceremony, and dressing in ancient style clothing. He is to be offered the jewels of Scotland and a brand-new sword at extortionate cost. The jewels and the sword will be kept under lock and key in the castle where the tourists may have the privilege of ogling them. The Lord Lyon was asked on Tuesday if it was fair that so much pomp and ceremony should be taking place, at such great cost, whenRead More →

The late Oliver Brown brought wit, scholarship, passion, ribaldry and the most uncringing spirit to the cause of Nationalism. Readers of the Scots Independent recall his inimitable column “Oliver” which enlivened this newspaper just as its author enlivened so many public meetings. Oliver Brown was a great journalist and the least provincial of men. His Scotland stood an equal among nations, neither vainglorious or servile. He was the first Scottish National Party candidate to save his deposit in a Parliamentary election. For many years, alone, he ran a weekly Saturday night open-air meeting at West Campbell Street, Glasgow. The Scots Independent, sadly aware of whatRead More →

In a recent piece for The Atlantic, “How the UK Became One Of The Poorest Countries in Western Europe”*, Derek Thomson wrote ” When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it hit hard, smashing the engine of Britain’s economic ascent. Wary of rising deficits, the British government pursued a policy of austerity, fretting about debt rather than productivity or aggregate demand. The results were disastrous. Real wages fell for six straight years. Facing what the writer Fintan O’Toole called “the dull anxiety of declining living standards,” conservative pols sniffed out a bogeyman to blame for this slow-motion catastrophe. They served up to anxious voters a menu of scary outsiders:Read More →

There is something both off-putting and at the same time intensely compelling about the tragedy currently playing out at the heart of UK politics.  As a Prime Minister who is so utterly unsuited, unable and unworthy of the job for which she has battled, schemed, twisted and turned all her adult life seems to be the only person who cannot see the writing on the wall. Go and for God’s sake, go now! Everyone is to blame, the markets, Mad Vlad and most of all KamiKwasi who had to be tossed under a bus after years of friendship. No amount of past alliances, co-authorship or ideological purityRead More →

Whatever happened to the high wage high skills economy that Boris Johnson promised us at the last year’s Tory conference? Remember just a year ago when the UK government pretended that the lorry driver shortage and the empty supermarket shelves weren’t a direct result of the Tories’ isolationist policies but instead were a mere temporary obstacle on a high speed journey to higher pay? This year we – or at least the wealthy – were briefly promised high growth and low taxes. Then the chancellor u-turned and it’s now more unclear than ever how the Tories intend to solve the UK’s myriad problems. Every wayRead More →