I feel the opposition parties in Scotland and the mainstream media have developed an unhealthy obsession with the Scottish National Party. Why unhealthy? Because it has become their sole focus. No longer are they willing to debate on matters that can improve matters for their voters. For too long now they have persisted in SNP bad stories and voted against things that could improve conditions for people, simply because the SNP members of parliament made the proposals. They specialise in seeking out voters who have had bad experiences and blame it on the First Minister. This week I heard that Brian Cox suggested the SNP changeRead More →

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 →

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 →

Many people like to think they are legends, though many don’t really measure up to the meaning. This week, however, we gathered to celebrate the life of one who truly was. If you were active in the independence movement at all, you will have met this man. Allan Angus was everywhere. He was for many years the Scots Independent agent for Aberdeen SNP and we are extremely grateful for the time he donated to sell our newspaper and spread the knowledge that independence is something we can achieve. He was known throughout the whole of Scotland as a campaigner. When the NE campaign bus visited by electionsRead More →

We went into the festive break with NHS workers, teachers and rail staff at the end of their tether. All the UK government would say was that they won’t talk about pay. Pay was not that high on the workers agenda. They wanted to talk about working conditions, understaffing and work practice changes that would endanger staff and service users. Nothing given. We come back from the festive break to the UK government putting legislation forward that was intended to make striking more difficult and resulting in staff being sacked. There was no need for this to happen. The unions and the local authorities alreadyRead More →

Last Sunday we attended the yearly service and change of Saltire at Athelstaneford. Well, it had been a yearly service until Covid restricted people’s movements and ability to gather. Behind the Church in the village is the Doocot that was converted into The Flag Heritage Centre. It tells the story of the flag of Scotland through film and story. It has become a popular tourist destination with both people from abroad, and those from home. The pictures show you the floodlit Saltire memorial which sits in the front of the church, next to the main road. Haddington Pipe Band entertained the gathering for around halfRead More →

I wonder where Maggie Chapman lives. I know she has worked on the West coast, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. I read she likes exploring Scotland in her leisure time, but does she have any actual experience of daily living using the A96? From Inverurie to Aberdeen it is a doddle with the dualled road. From Inverurie to Inverness it is very often a nightmare. Being rural, we have to travel far for appointments. For those of us who live a few miles from the A96 corridor public transport becomes complicated and does not join up. When we went to Fochabers institute to look at the proposalsRead More →

Last weekend we took the Scots Independent stall to the SNP conference in Aberdeen. The number attending was down on pre covid times. The train strikes may have been as much an influence as a fear of crowded places.  Many had a little flutter in the stomach when approaching the venue. It was, after all, the first time we had all gathered since 2019. Some of the HQ staff are still working from home so it )was a big deal for them too. Friday afternoon we set out our space so we were ready for the early star on Saturday. There was a good vibeRead More →

The 10 day period of enforced bereavement has culminated in a day of the most British of Britishness. It was a historic moment, the type our media like to hype to the maximum of our endurance. They tried hard to include things from the nations but sometimes the irony of their choices seemed to be beyond them. To me it all seemed rather rushed, every day another service or ceremony. Announcing a public holiday was probably done with great intention, to allow those who wanted to line the streets or watch TV all day, the liberty to do so. In the real world though itRead More →