Yougov joined three other pollsters this week in showing majority support for Scottish independence. The run of polls putting Yes in the lead have confounded unionists who made the mistake of thinking preventing a referendum was the same thing as winning one.  The Supreme Court’s decision underpinned the fundamental problem with the UK – namely that there is a gross imbalance in power between its constituent parts. The largest outvotes, over rules and ignores the rest. If we needed any clearer evidence of that then the Supreme Court couldn’t have done a better job in providing it.  Yet, some pro indy supporters remain frustrated thatRead 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 →

My partner and I are both pretty much bald. That doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t enjoy visits to the barber. I’ve never mastered the art of the home haircut and like many middle-aged men I have hair growing in all sorts of inaccessible places. Men like me can now have their follicle challenges addressed by the army of razor wielding Turks and Kurds who have opened hairdressing establishments from Shetland to Stranraer. My partner was recently having his shave at the Turkish barber in Campbeltown. While one staff member attended to him the other was glued to his phone.  My partner was able to hearRead More →

In January 2020, I joined thousands of other independence supporters marching through a sodden Glasgow city centre. It was one of many indy marches I’ve been on. Huge gatherings of hopeful people who have come together across Scotland since 2011. In Glasgow that Saturday there was anger and joy. Anger that the UK government remained determined to continue with its plans to remove Scotland from the EU against the democratically expressed wishes of the Scottish people. And joy that once again we showed ourselves to be a diverse, energetic, optimistic group. Thousands of people who could be mobilised rapidly from across the country to showRead More →

The swifts have returned to my bit of West Lothian. They turn up round about the same time every year. Not on an exact date but in this first couple of weeks in May. They arrive on a south or south-west wind and bring cheer to the heart and confirmation that the long gloomy Scottish winter is finally past.  My spirits were lifted this weekend not only by the arrival of these aerial visitors from the south but by the news that the so called ‘national anthem’ had been booed by Liverpool football fans at the English FA Cup Final.  Fans didn’t just restrict themselves toRead More →

‘Just had a fabulous stay in a completely off the tourist guide town. A great place to explore local attractions. The apartment is spotlessly clean with all the home comforts. Highly recommend’ Or how about this? ‘We had a wonderful time. The place is spacious, comfortable and equipped with everything you need. It’s in a great location with many shops and eateries close by.’ Paris, Prague, the Algarve? No, these are just two of the scores of heart warming reviews I’ve received for my Airbnb property in Bo’ness, a former mining town in West Lothian. These kinds of comments are what inspires me and holidayRead More →