Speech by John Swinney, seeking election as leader of the SNP I would like to thank you, Lorna, and the Party staff for the professional way this leadership process has been run at such short notice – enabling the Scottish National Party to get back on the front foot so quickly. A year ago, even a week ago, I did not think my future would involve standing here accepting the Leadership of the Scottish National Party. Things have turned out differently and before I say any more about my leadership I want to pay tribute to Humza Yousaf. He has conducted himself throughout the lastRead More →

Once again, the Scottish branches of the unionist parties have absolutely no interest in what happens to the SNP. We are merely pawns in their game of who will control the Westminster Parliament. The SNP are merely punch bags, so they don’t actually knock lumps out of each other. They care not a jot whether we are doing a good or a bad job, just so long as the media is reporting that we are doing a very bad job. I have dipped in and out of different social media posts over the past few days. Some people are making comments that explain their thinking,Read More →

The Andrew de Moray Project was created to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Andrew de Moray’s 1297 North Rising. Each year in May we rally at Ormond Hill, Avoch in the Black Isle where a new Saltire is hoisted on the flagpole on the cairn which we built and was first unveiled in 1997. We are pleased to continue that old community tradition started in the 1930s. In 2024 our march and flag raising at Ormond Hill takes place on Saturday afternoon 18th May. You can celebrate the fame of a Scottish hero whose castle at Ormond Hill was the base for his successful guerrillaRead More →

Tony Blair came into power on a wave of optimism in 1997. The desire for change was overwhelming. Voters were fed up with Major and wanted the end of 18 years of Tory rule. Of course, we in Scotland had never backed the Conservatives but the end finally came when even middle class voters in southern England couldn’t thole them any longer.  Blair arrived at the start of a period of economic expansion. There was growing confidence and a huge consumer boom. Scottish voters gave their enthusiastic support to New Labour returning scores of Labour MPs to Westminster. Contrary to what some would like toRead More →

I know you’re thinking here we go, but actually I’m concerned about campaigning for the next election.  For those who brace the elements, gather intelligence, and attend branch and campaign meetings.  Then proudly put up on social media about where you’ve been and how much fun you had.  Only to be met with a barrage of Unionist hatred.  Well, that’s what we are fighting against, but it would be good not to join in. We are expected to act in a respectful and intelligent manner, however, there are times when the red mist descends and the normally calm and considerate amongst us just can’t takeRead More →

Debate on the radio recently has made me wonder. Do the fiercest defenders of everything to do with the union and the associations with the Great in Britain, come from certain backgrounds? Parts of society who defiantly oppose any form of change or modernisation.  The debate that got me thinking was about the future of the Commonwealth Games. I grew up in a time when the Commonwealth was fairly prominent in our lives. I even did the Commonwealth Knowledge badge when I was in the guides. Listening to the people in athletics being interviewed, there did not seem to be the same enthusiasm at insisting that these games continue.Read More →

In the Joint Declaration on Peace issued on 15 December 1993 the UK government stated that it had no ‘selfish strategic or economic’ interest in Northern Ireland.  Westminster certainly isn’t getting the kind of economic or strategic benefits from Northern Ireland that it gets from Scotland but it’s not certain that they are ready to give up the territory quite yet.  When the DUP finally got round to accepting the results of the last Northern Ireland Assembly elections in February, the British press was full of articles assuring its readers that a united Ireland was never going to happen.  Contrary to its usual complete disinterest,Read More →

I can’t really say anything this week which would ignore George Galloway.  Dear old George, he’s made it to the benches far far away in the turrets of craziness.  He doesn’t want independence for Scotland but Independence for Gaza and just about everywhere else in the World.  So what do we do with these Scots who just can’t see the hypocrisy in all of these calls? With George it’s just politics.  He has hit on a hot topic and milking it.  He is not mad, he has just manipulated a situation ripe for a rebel, he just morphed into the void that needed filling, byRead More →

Over the years there have been many good arguments put forward for why we need a written constitution but none have been as persuasive as the utter farce we witnessed as the SNP’s Gaza ceasefire motion was “debated” in the Fun Palace on the Thames calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. That place defends itself on the grounds that it works because of “conventions” and “precedents”! Aye, right! Just as a wee background. The Government of the day, usually Tory, allows the Opposition parties to command the agenda on a whole 20 days in a Parliamentary session. Of these Labour get 17 days and the SNP get the other 3. The idea is that the opposition partyRead More →

Another Scottish Unionist takes up a seat in the house of Lords. This results in a Moray tory MSP slipping in from the Highland region list. This is the person who, when a tory Councillor, described things like free school meals as wee treats. I’ll bet he has never stood behind a young parent in a shop and saw them asking the assistant to take back some basic items. I have seen it in my village shop. Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting your MP at Westminster? The dining room is full of people who get to claim expenses, getting top quality subsidisedRead More →