I am often asked by some of the many young visitors to the Parliament what I think is the best thing the Parliament has delivered for the people of Scotland. I am sure that MSPs from across the Parliament give many answers to that from the Smoking Ban to the Climate Change legislation. But, for me, it is the 2007 decision to extend the education rights that are enjoyed by Scottish-domiciled students to the children of asylum seekers. A Government press release from the time stated: “Children of asylum families are to have the same access to full time further and higher education as ScottishRead More →

In June 2000, the Scots Independent had a dilemma; as a monthly publication, which had served very well since 1926, the unexpected advent of a Scottish Parliament meant a change of pace was required, as Scottish issues came to the fore in a way undreamed of. The paper had been a weekly when I joined the SNP in 1966 and circulated almost completely through SNP branches; I lived in Peterhead at the time and every week we had copies of the SI delivered to every barber’s, doctor’s surgery, dentist’s surgery and the bus station – the railway had long gone by that time! The factRead More →

I had hoped not to have to mention Obama. As I have had to spend so much time this past weekend sitting around with an elevated foot I am fed up hearing what he said. Have the people of the United States of America forgotten the thousands of lives lost in a bloody war trying to gain THEIR independence from Britain? Why is it so appalling for us to be able to do it peacefully through the ballot box? Ooops, BBC just announced on Monday evening that he was asked by the British government to intervene. Has Cameron no shame! Crawling to other world leadersRead More →

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the D Day Landings in Normandy Around this time we were on holiday in Carfin, Lanarkshire. In these days, and for long after the War as well, we only went on holiday where we had relatives and my mother had a few around Carfin and New Stevenson. I remember the timing of this one, because day after day, there was a steady stream of army lorries, jeeps, half tracks, armoured cars and tanks rolling through Carfin on the way south. As children, I was 9 at the time, we shouted greetings and childish banter from the windows of theRead More →