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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

I wrote before about changes the Electoral Commission was proposing to implement in the Highlands and how there was a consultation ongoing into it.  The initial proposals were insulting, reinforcing the belief that we carry up here that we dont matter and many objected including those not remotely interested in politics as it was seen as yet another attempt to erode services from the far north and into Inverness. It was only a few years ago that the electoral commission altered the boundaries within Caithness moving it from 3 wards with 9 councillors to two wards with 8.  Previously there had been representation for theRead More →

As the polls close at the end of this election campaign, things will be very different from normal.  There is to be no overnight count and we will all have to wait a couple of days for all the results, not just the outlying areas that are historically later to declare due to the distances involved in getting boxes to the Count.  In a campaign like no other, where we have not been able to enjoy the social side in the same way as we normally do and where we have an unprecedented array of list parties to choose from, it will not be forgottenRead More →

There have been several dilapidated buildings in the centre of Wick for as long as I can remember; old buildings of importance that have been left empty for decades, falling into disrepair and becoming an eyesore on the most visited parts of the town.  Boarded up, deteriorating slowly, the once proud and beautiful buildings from the photographs did nothing to alleviate the reputation of Wick as being dark and unkempt.  Local feeling was strong; they were an eyesore and something had to be done but as they were privately owned and the buildings would periodically be made safe, there seemed nothing that anybody could do. When ourRead More →

With only a few days left until voting closes for the regional list candidates, most SNP members should have had a chance to listen to their candidates and make an informed choice in which order to rank them.  There is always contention over these lists as members want “their” people to be placed highest and others  want the reassurance of constituency MSPs at the top as a safety belt in case they don’t retain their seat.  This year, there has been more drama than usual due to the controversial decision to place a BAME candidate in the number 1 spot in four specific regions andRead More →

The hunt is on for yet another leader of Scottish Labour.  Once again, someone has stepped down either to try to bolster the party’s abysmal ratings ahead of an election or because they no longer believe in the message that they have to promote.  Since the inception of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, there have been no fewer than 9 elected leaders for Labour in that two decades compared to only 3 from the SNP.  The Lib Dems and the Tories showed more reliability with 4 and 5 respectively whilst the Greens, although now sharing a collective responsibility, have had 2 consistent leaders.  It isRead More →

With National Conference taking place this weekend on a virtual platform for the first time, I am eager to see how it works as I cannot envisage how it will all come together and am sure that there will be many nervous moments in the run up to it. For me, conference was always a wee holiday, a break away from the kids and a chance for me not just to be someone’s mam but someone in my own right however a new job put paid to that and I have been unable to attend for the last few years, missing it greatly.  The coupleRead More →