Right now, the UK reminds me so much of that old cliché of “A dead man walking”. The strangest thing about it is that there’s no secret, we have many people recording the final stages, the terminal decline but no-one who can hear the death rattles is paying the slightest bit of attention. I first started to really consider that its end was nigh when I read “How Britain Ends” by Gavin Esler with its descriptions of institutional decay throughout the British “Establishment”. I was encouraged by his conclusion that of course Scotland would become Independent although he believes that the driving force will not be our movement so much as England’s inability toRead 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 →

There are many, many things about the right wing in politics which I find detestable, selfishness, xenophobia and bigotry to name but three, perhaps though the one which irks me most is their utter inability to learn the simplest of lessons from history. This is highlighted just now by the crass stupidity of the Republican “Party” in the US. They question whether the support for Ukraine from the US, in its fight for survival is “worth it?”  This displays all the blinkered ignorance we have come to expect from a party which claims to be the party of law and order but is prepared to nominate a serially impeachedRead More →

Some years ago at Annual Conference, Nicola said that we needed to concentrate on explaining the “why” of Independence rather than being caught up in the Unionist game of “how” to win independence. I was reminded of this again yesterday when I saw a graphic on Facebook about Electricity Standing Charges. Now I always try to recall the words of Rabbie Burns “Just because you read it on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s true”, but given the current controversy around the impact that standing charges have on bills, I felt it was worth pursuing. The Westminster Government has recently kindly reduced the Energy Price Cap to £1923 a year for a typical household. Ok we don’t liveRead More →

It’s sometimes thought that Government is a piece of cake, you just take your manifesto and hey presto, it’s done, dusted and law. In practice, in the real world of course it’s far from that rosy picture. If you’re lucky enough to have a current or past Minister as your MSP, have a chat about the realities of office. Not the oft cited “Ministerial car” or the speeches but the hard graft of getting to grips with a subject and mastering that brief before you can even think about how you would make change work and find the money from within your own Departmental budget.Read More →

Over recent months the siren of voices who claim that they have the simple route to Independence has become a clamour to see who can shout the loudest, sadly not a debate about who has one which is actually workable and achievable. From withdrawing the SNP MPs from Westminster to declaring “UDI” we’re bombarded with sound, and not a little fury. The SNP should get their own policy house in order is followed by the SNP should open up to the rest of the YES movement. As is frequently the case, the calls are mutually exclusive. Everyone, it seems, has a plan to get usRead More →

Greedflation; the condition where business increases prices because of a crisis but refuse to reduce them when the crisis passes. It’s what I believe is happening now to most things we buy but especially to foodstuffs. We could all understand when the oil price went through the roof last year as Mad Vlad tried to rebuild the Russian Empire by initially invading Ukraine. It was easy to accept that the rocketing price of fuel meant there would be knock-on impacts on everything, not that we foresaw just how horrific those impacts would be. Everything rocketed, fuel for the car, or lorry, electricity and the costsRead More →

Well, it’s certainly been an interesting few weeks since the Leadership contest got underway, exploded into a fair bit of acrimony, settled down (largely) into a debate, was decided and then the famed iron discipline disintegrated as so many rushed to air their every grievance.  Every cop in Scotland except Taggart and Rebus descended on poor Uddingston and we found out that the auditors had resigned months ago and we had acquired a caravan for the Sandra’s to use at Saltcoats presumably. Just as well they had that exercise to dig up the soup pot. In the middle of this one of the most bizarre episodes when my local MP and LeaderRead More →

There was I, sitting on my bed in Aberdeen Royal after my latest cancer surgery, happily extolling the virtues of the Scottish Government and its stability compared to the never ending chaos in London when one of my fellow patients bursts in to say “Aye well but who’s going to replace Nicola now”? Talk about pulling the rug…. It’s sad to see Nicola and now John stand down after so many years of unstinting service but at least we now have the opportunity to blood a new FM and their team before going to the polls again. Like the vast majority of folk I’m enormously grateful to both for yearsRead More →

I’m frequently confused, baffled and frustrated by some of the commentators who claim to be ardent supporters of Independence.  On one hand there’s a steady stream of “advice” on what the SNP should be doing to lead the campaign and drive forward the case for various courses of action from convening conferences, parliamentary disruption and calling for yet more marches. In the following weeks some will have columns which will frequently demand that the SNP stand aside and let the “wider YES movement” take the lead in developing campaigns etc. Occasionally, I think that the habit some had developed of knee-jerk opposition to the SNP, built up over decades of slavishly following whatever line theRead More →