As the polls close at the end of this election campaign, things will be very different from normal.  There is to be no overnight count and we will all have to wait a couple of days for all the results, not just the outlying areas that are historically later to declare due to the distances involved in getting boxes to the Count.  In a campaign like no other, where we have not been able to enjoy the social side in the same way as we normally do and where we have an unprecedented array of list parties to choose from, it will not be forgottenRead More →

Because we are moving home and I’ve been making full use of the wonderful NHS, I’ve been a spectator rather than an activist but as we move into the final phase of this abnormal election campaign, 4 things stand out for me. Hypocrisy of media over breaches of Ministerial Codes I wrote in my last piece of my concerns about how this might have played out to the serious detriment of both the campaign generally and on Nicola in particular. But this has been a dog which did not bark in the night and perhaps the reason lies a few hundred miles to the south.Read More →

We are 2 weeks from polling day. I have voted. It’s going to be a long wait now.  Somehow I have managed to hear most of the main parties election launches listening to the radio while I work. There seems to be a heavy emphasis on how to fill in your voting papers. This could be construed as thinking we are stupid but I’ll err on the side of caution and assume it’s because there has been a big increase of first time postal voters What about the council who sent out voting papers that did not include instructions as to what gets put inRead More →

This really is turning into the strangest election campaign I can recall in 55 years in the SNP. What was looking like a fairly routine campaign with the prospect of a possible SNP majority 12 months ago has developed more twists and turns than a Stephen King plot. First, we had the Alex Salmond trial, which so many of us feared would leave a major doubt in voters’ minds about the whole campaign for Independence. Then came the acquittal on all charges and we breathed huge sighs of relief and awaited the return of Alex to the fold and an eventual peace deal being brokered.Read More →

What a scunner the last week has been. I had been concerned about behaviour on mainstream media and social media for some time. Last week there was a surge in the use of bad language, aggressive posts and comments and a total lack of respect for other people’s point of view. I was amazed at how many people had suddenly become experts on our voting system. I am fairly sure that they cannot all be correct, but people have convinced themselves they are right. As we discovered in the council elections when we tried to ask the electorate to vote SNP 1 and 2 (ifRead More →

There have been several dilapidated buildings in the centre of Wick for as long as I can remember; old buildings of importance that have been left empty for decades, falling into disrepair and becoming an eyesore on the most visited parts of the town.  Boarded up, deteriorating slowly, the once proud and beautiful buildings from the photographs did nothing to alleviate the reputation of Wick as being dark and unkempt.  Local feeling was strong; they were an eyesore and something had to be done but as they were privately owned and the buildings would periodically be made safe, there seemed nothing that anybody could do. When ourRead More →

Recently in the news there have been many reports about alleged abuse of women, mainly relating to sexual and domestic abuse. The reports made me think about attitudes to women over the years.  When I was young, I was brought up to respect people, especially my elders. I thought about how this attitude affected me in my life. The first memory that surfaced was attending a meeting not far from my home. At the end of the meeting, a man old enough to be my father offered to walk me down the road to my house. I politely said No. He insisted and I stillRead More →

Westminster does not have enough money, they say, to pay healthcare workers a decent pay rise. Meantime convoys of nuclear weapons have been travelling up to Scotland. Not replacements though. We hear this week that instead of reducing the number of warheads we have to 180 they are going to increase to 260. Why do we need all these? The picture that comes to my mind is little boys comparing their anatomy and seeing who can pee the furthest. More likely though is the bully boy scenario. The threat of actually wiping out a sizable part of the world. I fear for the next fewRead More →

The psychodrama that has prevailed amongst a minority of the national movement derived from #MeToo, the Alex Salmond affair and slanging matches over a gender recognition bill, which is no longer on the parliamentary timetable, must now stop.  Alex Salmond is innocent of criminal activity but clearly has a tarnished reputation from activities that took place during his time as the inhabitant of Bute House. Behaviour which is unbecoming of the First Minister of Scotland. However, that is now in the past and a line must be drawn under it. Revenge, which now seems to be the priority, is a dish best served cold andRead More →

In such a confusing time it is difficult to know where to start.  I thought of looking back at various attempts to split the SNP; most of my comments will be personal. I see Jim Sillars  has thrown his hat in the ring, so it is worth emphasizing that every time he is quoted as a former Deputy Leader of the SNP people may not be aware that this was only for one year;  he managed to spend a lot of money, and members voted him out. I cannot remember exactly when but he made a proposal about more public demonstrations /civil disobedience  – this was passed at theRead More →