Over the years there have been many predictions of dirty campaigns, some justified some not but we are, I suspect, now in a very dirty campaign which will last till May 17, and for a very simple reason; Labour in Scotland are genuinely frightened that they face complete oblivion. Labour once had three legs to their power base. It seems strange now to even say Labour once had a power base. The first leg was, of course, Westminster. Well, we sorted that out last year in no uncertain manner, and Labour have become poorer not only financially, but their whole psyche has been rocked. TheRead More →

As I have not been riled by anything this past week I have decided to do a wee list of positive things. Things have been happening politically in Scotland that are either ignored by the press or reported in wee dark corners. Seem that only David Cameron has been worth reporting on this week as he sneaks around Europe trying to get support so he can call a referendum on Europe and wipe out any coverage on the Scottish elections. These are just bites of what is happening. Full information links at end of each topic. Funding for Macmillan advice services. Cancer patients and theirRead More →

For our subscribers not in easy travelling distance of Carrbridge this could be a weekend away with a difference. A deal for B&B has been negotiated with the hotel.The event will also be supporting the Scots Independent newspaper by promoting us. Join Grantown and District SNP branch for a fun-filled evening of socialising and horse racing. Friday 4th March 2016 at 1915 hour (7.15 pm) Light buffet and wine included. Tickets £15. £5 from each ticket going to support the Grantown SNP Branch. Tables seat 10 and can be reserved for groups. Tickets available from The Bookmark, Grantown and The Carrbridge Hotel, at the door, orRead More →

Last night I went to see an Oscar-contender film, Spotlight. The story of how the investigative journalism team at Boston Globe exposed not just that 243 priests had abused over 1,000 boys and girls over decades but that the church had systematically hidden what happened through bullying, pay-offs and a network of people it could rely on to suppress any potential. A telling scene where the importance of getting the whole story, being patient to research and evidence the systemic abuse, was an important part of being able to nail the church once and for all. No more excuses or blame on one or twoRead More →

After months of evidence collection, the Commission on Local Tax Reform has published its final report: Just Change: A New Approach to Local Taxation.   The cross-party commission, established jointly by the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), brought together representatives from across the political spectrum to look at options for a fairer local tax system.   Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment, Marco Biagi, one of the commission’s co-chairs, said: “The First Minister established this commission to allow an informed debate on the future of local taxation.   “We welcome the fact that four of the five parties inRead More →

In my last column , I spoke about the first ever SNP Conference specifically for Disabled Members at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow was organised by some Disabled party members themselves. It was an opportunity to nurture skills and encourage debate , in the way that feels comfortable and in a space that empowers us.   The opening speech was from Equalities Officer Tasmina Ahmed – Sheikh MP , back in 2012 she joined the Advisory Board of Yes Scotland and the Cross Party campaign for Scottish Independence. In 2015 General Election she was elected to the British Parliament as SNP MP for Ochil andRead More →

I was reading in the Herald of Tuesday this week that they foresee a constitutional crisis if John Swinney does not sign up to the fiscal framework.  How perceptive of the Herald; there has been a constitutional crisis since May 2011, or more  probably since May 2007 when a sharp eyed nationalist counting agent, now the MSP for Skye,Lochaber and Badenoch, Dave Thompson, queried the Returning Officer’s declaration on the Regional Vote.  This initially showed no seats for the SNP; after checking the figures, two seats were allocated to the SNP.  This made the SNP the largest party in the Scottish Parliament, and Alex SalmondRead More →

Local MSP Signs Book of Commitment on Holocaust Memorial Day Dave Thompson, SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch recently (27/01/15) signed the Book of Commitment in the Scottish Parliament on Holocaust Memorial day. The Holocaust Educational Trust who was sponsoring the event was established in 1988. Their aim is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today and is bringing together testimony from people who sought sanctuary in Scotland to escape the racism of Nazi-dominated Europe. Mr Thompson said, “The 27th of January was the day for everyone to remember the six millionRead More →