I came across the post from radio Scotland this morning about how would you like a safe consumption room in your neighbourhood. I then read some of the comments. This made me think. When I was young and first involved in politics, you had to go along to meetings to get involved. You were perfectly able to view your opinion, but this would be debated by the room. There may or may not have been a conclusion. If it was an important subject that would be put to National Council or a Conference for debate and voting, the branch or constituency would invite knowledgeable people along toRead More →

There have been many words, tributes and memories dedicated to the legend that was Winnie Ewing lately but I just wanted to add the impact that she made on me as an eight year old.  My dates may well be out but it must have been the early 80s and I was living in Orkney.  It was Brownie night and we were out a walk when a car went by and the whispers began and we all started waving excitedly.  It was probably an adult who had said who it was but what sticks in my mind was how we all knew who it wasRead 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 →

Since his mother died, he has been grinning like a Cheshire cat and rubbing his hands together. He has waited so long to become king that he is like a child let loose in a toy shop with sweetie shelves. He has totally misread the feeling of the nation. His nation has been through some very difficult times in the past few years. Loved ones no longer with us, who should have been. People homeless or using food banks to feed their families. While his people have been struggling, he has been spending the public purse on a ridiculously extravagant coronation. Not being content withRead More →

I feel the opposition parties in Scotland and the mainstream media have developed an unhealthy obsession with the Scottish National Party. Why unhealthy? Because it has become their sole focus. No longer are they willing to debate on matters that can improve matters for their voters. For too long now they have persisted in SNP bad stories and voted against things that could improve conditions for people, simply because the SNP members of parliament made the proposals. They specialise in seeking out voters who have had bad experiences and blame it on the First Minister. This week I heard that Brian Cox suggested the SNP changeRead More →

This week we have seen a new First Minister elected and his deputy appointed. At the time of writing this, Kate was offered a demotion to rural affairs but declined. Life is not straightforward. No-one saw this contest coming. Kate saw an opportunity to become First Minister due to her diligent job as Finance Minister. It was not to be. As a new mum, should she take on a junior ministerial role or sit on the back benches where she can work her constituency and spend more time with her family? She is young. She can rebuild her career if she wants to. Humza willRead More →

This time next week we will know who the next SNP leader will be. I have to admit I have been ashamed of some behaviours and many social media posts and comments. Some of you, like me, will remember the days before the Internet. Yes, we were small enough to meet in town halls, even village halls. Overall, however, we had something called respect. Not just respect for each other but respect that people are entitled to hold different views.  I stewarded these national debate events and heard all the debates unless I was on a duty outside the hall. Because delegates had to standRead More →

We are delighted to announce that the Oliver Brown Award Lunch is back this year. It has been paused since the start of Covid but, given we should all have had our vaccinations, we are going ahead this year. The award is presented to someone, in the world of journalism and arts, who has spoken up for Scotland in the previous year.  We awarded Alyn Smith in 2019 for his speeches at the European Parliament as the UK government were ripping Scotland out of the EU. Unfortunately, we were unable to present the award as lockdown made it impossible to hold the event. Therefore, AlynRead More →

Many people like to think they are legends, though many don’t really measure up to the meaning. This week, however, we gathered to celebrate the life of one who truly was. If you were active in the independence movement at all, you will have met this man. Allan Angus was everywhere. He was for many years the Scots Independent agent for Aberdeen SNP and we are extremely grateful for the time he donated to sell our newspaper and spread the knowledge that independence is something we can achieve. He was known throughout the whole of Scotland as a campaigner. When the NE campaign bus visited by electionsRead More →

We went into the festive break with NHS workers, teachers and rail staff at the end of their tether. All the UK government would say was that they won’t talk about pay. Pay was not that high on the workers agenda. They wanted to talk about working conditions, understaffing and work practice changes that would endanger staff and service users. Nothing given. We come back from the festive break to the UK government putting legislation forward that was intended to make striking more difficult and resulting in staff being sacked. There was no need for this to happen. The unions and the local authorities alreadyRead More →