This past week has been huge. Not that you would have seen that from the traditional media. For those of us who live too far from the central belt to attend things, we have really appreciated social media and those who used it to share events with us. The vibrancy from George Square in Glasgow last week just jumped out of the screens at us. Seeing the event from many different people’s vantage points helped to show us just how huge the event was. I still wonder that the community square, in what Scottish Labour consider to be their heartland, has played such a momentousRead More →

An open letter to the people of Scotland from 150 business owners and job creators. Opinion polls consistently show significant majority support for home rule, devo max or full fiscal autonomy. Whichever term is used, the definition of devo max is clear: all powers transferred from Westminster to Scotland with the exception of shared monetary policy, defence and foreign affairs. Extensive new powers – as close to federalism as possible – were promised to the people of Scotland by the No campaign during the referendum and, if implemented, would provide the Scottish Government with the powers required to generate strong and sustainable economic growth, createRead More →

Two weeks till the U.K. elections and we are hearing more about what the S.N.P. are about, on the main British news, than we are hearing about what the U.K. parties are offering us. Labour and Conservative parties have become trapped into trying to scare the electorate that the S.N.P. will combine with the other one to make the government from hell. The Lib Dems don’t know what planet they are on and Malcolm Bruce is getting pretty slanderous in his hatred of Alex Salmond. Nicola Sturgeon live on the “national” news programme more than once in the campaign. Who would have thunk it?  Read More →

SMITH COMMISSION IGNORED AHEAD OF EU MEETING Scotland has been stopped from having a direct voice at the top table in key EU Fisheries talks tomorrow despite the Smith Commission pledge that Scotland should lead when it has the “predominant policy interest”, and despite the UK Minister for the Marine Environment, George Eustice, being unable to attend. The SNP’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead had demanded Scotland lead for the UK in the crucial talks at the European Union’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council. However in a letter to Mr Lochhead the UK Government have now confirmed that instead an unelected Tory peer with no involvementRead More →

Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, has well and truly slipped from shadow of Gordon Brown, his political mentor and protector. Not content with slapping down Scottish Labour Leader, Jim Murphy, over future public service cuts in Scotland by a Labour-led Westminster Government in the way that Gordon Brown used to put down various Scottish Labour predecessors like Jack McConnell, Wendy Alexander and Iain Gray, the rhetoric of saving the Union continues with Mr Balls.   In response to suggestions that Labour and SNP will strike a deal after 7 May, Mr Balls told the Wolverhampton Express: “I’m not going to do it and Labour won’t doRead More →

Alex Neil launches new online resource. A new online toolkit will give communities information and advice on how they can make their town centres more attractive, active and accessible. The Town Centre Toolkit has been developed as one of the key actions from the Town Centre Action Plan, a plan which sets out measures to revitalise Scotland’s town centres. Using case studies for inspiration, the toolkit is designed to give everyone the opportunity to be involved in making improvements to their local area and offers guidance on how to make best use of the assets already in place. Examples include bringing historic buildings back intoRead More →

There is a bit missing in this tale set up to smear Nicola Sturgeon. Let me summarise: Nicola and the French Ambassador had a private meeting at which no UK civil servants were present.  A memorandum of what was said went out from the Scotland Office (the Westminster bit) which included some derogatory remarks about Ed Miliband, and complimentary remarks about David Cameron.  The writer of the memorandum said, in it “… I have to admit that I’m not sure that the FM’s tongue would be so loose on that kind of thing in a meeting like that so it might well be a caseRead More →

“Global inflation in the price of food began in late 2006, and especially after the financial crisis of 2007–08 began to further worsen economic conditions for those on low income. The growth of food banks has been broadly welcomed, most especially by those on the right of the political spectrum, but also by many on the left, who see them as evidence of active community that is independent of the state. However, academics and commentators have expressed concern that the rise of foodbanks may erode political support for welfare provision. Researchers have reported that food banks can be inefficient compared with state run services, andRead More →

As some readers might know I joined the SNP in 1966, 49 years ago.   I joined because I was sure that we could run Scotland from up here a lot better that they could from down there.  My view then was that we produced more food than we could eat, and more drink that we could drink, although we have always had those who by their actions tried to disprove the latter.  We had an abundance of energy with a thousand years of coal , water – a scarce commodity, and a skilled inventive people.   We knew that the mismanagement of Scotland byRead More →

I am becoming increasingly alarmed at how good the opinion polls are for us.  The have been very good, brilliant indeed, but I have dreadful thoughts  centred on Neil Kinnock in the General Election in 1992.  He had addressed a rapturous Labour Conference and then been defeated by an unassuming Tory, John Major, wandering around with a soap box.   I know social media was non existent at that time, but opinion polls do not get put in the Ballot Box.  We must work to canvass, identify our vote and get them out on polling day.  Hard work will be essential; I remember 2008 when Read More →