Today, Tuesday 14th July, Mhairi Black summed up exactly how I have been feeling since the Chancellor’s budget last week (watch it here on I think she has summed up beautifully why many people are opposed to what the Tory government are doing with the latest budget and going by the thousands of hits her speech has had online, many others would agree. The smirk on Osborne’s face on budget day said it all. I am now unshackled from those pesky liberals and I can wield the full force of Victorian Tory values. A press release today (Thursday 16th July) states – The ‘appalling’ impactRead More →

The SNP is today celebrating a by-election victory in the Thorniewood ward of the North Lanarkshire Council area. In the 2012 local elections, Labour received the largest share of first preferences with 70.5% of votes, whereas in this by-election the SNP came top with 47% of the vote – a 25.3% swing. In 2012 this was the second safest Labour ward in North Lanarkshire. New SNP Councillor Steven Bonnar will join recently elected SNP MP Phil Boswell, who won the formerly safe Labour seat of Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill in May, in representing the area. Commenting, Councillor Bonnar said: “It is a privilege to beRead More →

Scottish National Party spokesperson for Social Justice and Welfare Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP has slammed the UK Government’s budget for failing millions of low and middle income families. The Tory government budget includes cuts to Tax Credits, which the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said will not be compensated by the government’s so-called ‘Living wage.’ Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said: “In work poverty is the scandal of our time- and it’s a scandal that was ignored by yesterday’s Tory budget. “In Scotland tax credits are overwhelmingly paid to working people. And in Scotland 95% of tax creditsRead More →

I’ve been spending the last few weekends assessing members who want to become MSPs. A worthy ambition and not one that should be taken lightly. Through a range of individual interviews and group exercises, the Candidate Assessment Panel stretches applicants to help them evidence that they have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Winnie Ewing, Tricia Marwick, Rob Gibson and Alasdair Morgan. My fellow assessors like our version of Question Time. I role play a mash of Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer (yes, it’s not particularly pleasant sounding or looking). Taking a question from the ‘audience’ only to twistRead More →

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, SNP MP for Ochil & South Perthshire, SNP Deputy Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and SNP Spokesperson on Trade and Investment You can’t fight an idea with brute force. It’s clear that in light of recent attacks in Tunisia and beyond, the battle of hearts and minds will be as important as any other part of our strategy to combat the scourge of terrorism. So I’ve been encouraged over the past week to hear an increasing number of MPs from across the House of Commons refer to “Daesh” when referring to the group previously called by nearly everyone “Islamic State”. I wasRead More →

Oh well, you might be tempted to say. Here we go again, another year another Labour leadership election. It seems to be that falling on your sword after yet another defeat of historical proportions is now part of the Labour Leadership 101 Course. It’s getting harder and harder to remember all the “Leaders” the Branch Office has had. And yet even in that simple sentence we have the root cause of their problem. Branch Offices have “Managers”. “Leaders” can only lead when they can do three things: • recognise your own problems and develop solutions • take the necessary steps to implement them • inspireRead More →

A week or two back I had occasion to go to St John’s Hospital in Livingston; as they had warned about problems with parking I opted for the bus.  As such I had ample time to note all the towns and villages along the route, many of which had become familiar during the Livingston by election a few years back. That by election was caused by the death of Robin Cook, and Labour put up Jim Devine who had been Robin Cook’s election agent; he was not prominent in the campaign as I recall as Labour tried to hide him from view, and we wereRead More →

Tuesday 30th June 2015 SNP CALL ON LABOUR TO SUPPORT WELFARE POWERS IN SCOTLAND BILL “CHOICE IS SCOTTISH CONTROL OR TORY CONTROL” The Scottish National Party has challenged Labour to support more welfare powers for Scotland ahead of the Scotland Bill debates in Westminster today (Tuesday). SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP has said Labour had a choice between welfare powers being in “Scottish control or Tory control.” The SNP is proposing amendments to the Scotland Bill that would remove Westminster vetoes over using welfare powers; give the Scottish Parliament additional powers including devolving working age benefits and benefits relating to children; the power toRead More →