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 →

There was I, sitting on my bed in Aberdeen Royal after my latest cancer surgery, happily extolling the virtues of the Scottish Government and its stability compared to the never ending chaos in London when one of my fellow patients bursts in to say “Aye well but who’s going to replace Nicola now”? Talk about pulling the rug…. It’s sad to see Nicola and now John stand down after so many years of unstinting service but at least we now have the opportunity to blood a new FM and their team before going to the polls again. Like the vast majority of folk I’m enormously grateful to both for yearsRead 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 →

Like almost everybody else, I was shocked when I heard the news that Nicola Sturgeon was standing down as First Minister.  I had been late to the information as I was working and when I switched on my phone later in the day, I was presented with a series of incredulous texts from my children before eventually working out what had happened.  Over the remainder of the day as the news filtered through to people, there seemed to be a genuine sense of shock at the news even from people who made no secret of their dislike and distrust of the SNP and the onlyRead More →