Today in The Herald I see that some of the unelected Labour and Lib Dem M.P.s from the last parliament are upset at not finding employment easily. Anne Begg is 60 and disabled and says that she has no plans to return to full time work. Many disabled, much younger, have difficulty finding even part time work so don’t think she will find many tears flowing there. “She said the sheer number of livelihoods lost in May, not just among MPs but also members of their staff, had been quite traumatic” I believe she is right. She didn’t seem to worry about this until nowRead More →

Greetings to all readers, with a nice wee picture from Shetland, probably half way to Santa’s home in Greenland or Lapland, or wherever he doesn’t live.   Been reading this morning about criticism of a Minister who has been attempting to re translate the New Testament and generally getting pelters.  There is no doubt that Christmas has been commercialised to the Nth degree and there are many misconceptions.  For instance we sing about “sleigh bells in the snow”  – a line from one of the most famous songs we all know about Christmas, but I’ve never heard a sleigh bell in my life, they mustRead More →

Wednesday 23rd December 2015 SCOTTISH DAIRY: A BRAND IN DEMAND SIX MONTHS OF SUCCESS FOR DAIRY SECTOR INITIATIVE As 2015 draws to a close, the SNP is welcoming the success of the Scottish Dairy Brand since its launch this summer at the Royal Highland Show. SNP MSP Graeme Dey has hailed the Scottish Government’s food and drink initiative which has to date attracted a dozen processors, 18 brands and 40 different products over three specialist ranges – all made using 100 per cent Scottish milk. There has been noted interest in the Scottish Dairy Brand products from markets in over 20 countries across the globeRead More →

Three ‘budgets’ since the General Election and Chancellor Osborne dug us in deeper to his austerity highway to Utopia or at least a budget surplus by 2019-20, so he says. UK Chancellors through the decades are notorious for forecasting. No sooner do they make prediction than an unforeseen event arises that requires them to make an adjustment. It’s not that the Chancellor shouldn’t make adjustments, more that he shouldn’t set out financial statements promising so much when he clearly knows he has no guarantee of delivering them. This week, Scotland’s Finance Secretary has had just two weeks to make sense of the UK Spending Review.Read More →

I think it is important to do a column from a disability point of view on independence, from my perspective I campaign and advocate for people with a disability every day, I have a greater insight than most as I have Cerebral Palsy. I was very disappointed that Scotland lost the Yes Vote by such a narrow margin, but it is perhaps an early indicator that one day we will get our independence. In the lead up there were a number of different campaigns running, such as Disabled For Yes representing people with disabilities who recognise the advantages of independence. The realisation the campaign aimsRead More →

Clare Adamson MSP welcomes legislation which will help modernise the criminal justice system A new law setting out improvements to the criminal justice system has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. Speaking after the Stage 3 debate, Ms Adamson said: “I am delighted that the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill has been approved by the Scottish Parliament today. I believe the Bill strikes the right balance between strengthening the powers available to police and prosecutors while protecting the rights of the accused and it takes forward a wide range of proposals all designed to modernise and improve our current criminal justice system in Scotland”. A newRead More →

The first chartered flight of Syrian refugees arrived at Glasgow Airport recently bound for their new lives in Scotland; men, women and older children who have spent their last few years in the inhospitable confines of refugee camps, younger children who perhaps have no knowledge or memory of any other life than their pitiful existence there.  Yet uprooting your family with little more than the clothes on your back and walking hundreds of miles for safety from war offered by the camps is a decision that thousands of people have to make in order to live.  We can only hope that those on this firstRead More →

In the poem “New Colossus” Emma Lazarus penned lines which have become to so many the very epitome of what the USA stands for. Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning toRead More →

This week should have been about condemning David Mundell and his hyperbolic claim that the Scotland Bill has fulfilled the Smith Commission recommendations, which was the vehicle to turn the much-vaunted Vow into practical terms. Sadly events in Paris changed this.   Instead my story starts on Friday 6 November as I set off for a long weekend in the Tarn, a rural area of North Midi-Pyrenees not unlike the rich farmlands of Strathmore. I have been here twice before and love the tranquility of my friend’s family hideaway. Arriving in Toulouse, I was struck by the presence of armed police patrolling the railway station.Read More →