Richard Lochhead has just defended the governments position to ban growing of GM crops here in Scotland, and I am currently in favour of that position. It may come as a surprise to some that a farmer is opposed to a science that we are told will bring massive benefits to our industry, but quite simply, I have yet to be convinced. I am not opposed to genetic modification because as farmers and agrarians we have been doing that for generations. We grow our livestock, crops, fruits and everything else through selective breeding to try and maximise particular traits that we wish to encourage. ForRead 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 →

Fiscal autonomy, coupled with a comprehensive new economic strategy, could almost double the size of the Scottish economy over 25 years as well as increase Scotland’s public finances, propelling it to become one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world. These are the key findings of a new report published today (4th May) by independent business organisation, N-56 – Fiscal Autonomy: An Opportunity Not a Threat – which aims to support Scotland to become one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world through the delivery of a new economic strategy. This new economic strategy should include measures to boost productivity andRead More →

THIS election is like no other in modern times. It has seen the power of the Westminster establishment challenged as never before. That means the strength of the establishment parties is ebbing away – and that is a very healthy thing for democracy. In Scotland it means there is a fantastic opportunity to make our nation more powerful at Westminster than we have ever been before. Electing a strong group of SNP MPs to Westminster this Thursday will give Scotland potentially unprecedented power and influence at Westminster. And if Scotland – including those who have still to decide how they are voting – can uniteRead More →

An open letter to the people of Scotland from 150 business owners and job creators. Opinion polls consistently show significant majority support for home rule, devo max or full fiscal autonomy. Whichever term is used, the definition of devo max is clear: all powers transferred from Westminster to Scotland with the exception of shared monetary policy, defence and foreign affairs. Extensive new powers – as close to federalism as possible – were promised to the people of Scotland by the No campaign during the referendum and, if implemented, would provide the Scottish Government with the powers required to generate strong and sustainable economic growth, createRead More →

Saturday 28 March 2015, it’s an unremarkable date in many ways but a significant one for me. What happened, well I went to the rostrum and spoke at the SNP Conference. For those unfortunate to know me over the years that will seem completely normal, I’ve been speaking at Conference etc for many, many years. But six months earlier, on September 19 2014, I was ready and willing to up sticks, sell the house, stand down as a Councillor and move permanently to Tenerife. I had woken that morning to utter despair, we had lost, Scotland had bottled it once again, grasped defeat from theRead More →