In the midst of all the preparations for the Royal Funeral, it seems an appropriate time to lift our horizons a bit and have a look at events away from these shores. It may not seem like it with the media doing nothing but wall to wall, 24/7, coverage of the funeral arrangements and constant reheating of the same tributes to a life well lived, but there are things happening across the globe and some of them will have a major impact on our lives. In the US, it seemed just a few months ago that President Biden and the Democrats were heading for aRead More →

Over recent months, I have become a bit of a fan of the “The Rest is Politics” podcast. Hosted by Alistair Campbell (Tony Blair’s Head of Communications) and former Tory MP and failed leadership candidate Rory Stewart. Not, I hasten to add because of their capacity to provide answers but for the unintentional irony they serve virtually every week. One of the things I like is that they aim to “disagree agreeably” and that’s a lesson many could benefit from. Just because someone doesn’t see Scotland’s future the way we do doesn’t make them a traitor or any less of a Scot. Equally, not everyoneRead More →

“The rules are simple, they lie to us, we know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” Goebbels “When truth is replaced by silence ,the silence is a lie.”― Yevgeny Yevtushenko There are times when I watch some Unionists dissing Scotland and or nationalism and I wonder if they believe the words coming out of their mouths or if they know we know theyRead More →

Well, that’s the 2022 Local Council Elections over! So maybe now is a good time to talk about Local Government. One of the few things we all know about it is that it’s becoming more and more of a misnomer. The old saying has it that “he who pays the piper calls the tune” and this is very much the case in the Council chambers up and down the country. Between finance being provided increasingly from Holyrood (and with the threats of the muppets in Westminster doing another power grab). Once it enters the Council coffers money is increasingly being “ring fenced” giving less andRead More →

One of my favourite cliches is “be careful what you wish for”. Recently I’ve been contemplating just how much this applies to the poor misguided souls who keep parroting the mince about Scotland being unable to afford to be independent. The essence of this argument is that Scotland is subsidised by the poor people of England. Now, I grant you that many of them are good, decent, kind-hearted folk who would help anyone in need. There is, however, also a large group who have a wide streak of selfishness and lack of human kindness. You might characterise it as the Archbishop or the Home SecretaryRead More →

There is a legend that the great Mongol warrior Genghis Khan used a very brutal form of psychological warfare on every city which he attacked. On the original approach his army would, if possible, surround the city and his own tent would be covered by a white cloth. This signified that if the city surrendered immediately only the ruling family would be killed. This would stay in place for 2 days. If the city had not surrendered in that time, the covering cloth on his tent was changed to red. This indicated that if surrendered, only the ruling families and the officials would be killed,Read More →

Perhaps nothing has served to illustrate just how small minded the UK media and political establishments are than the events of the last few weeks. Narrow, insular and utterly irrelevant hardly even describe the UK “role” in the world. As the debates raged across the globe about the prospects of the Russians invading Ukraine, here we were given a daily dose of which “party / work event” has now been “discovered” and a side serving of Adele having to cancel some concerts in Las Vegas! Not even a mention of the queues of traffic clogging up the access to the Port of Dover. The Met,Read More →

This is traditionally a time when we look back at the year just gone and forward to the new one. On a personal note, this year has seen two major medical procedures, chemotherapy and a change of house. So pretty hectic from January right through and I can only pray that next year brings a bit of much needed calm. Politically, it’s been a strange year, with the relief of getting the aftermath of that trial out of the way, unionists as usual shooting themselves in both feet especially in that committee and a good performance in the General Election. The birth of a new partyRead More →

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 →

“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 →