The Commonwealth games have arrived in Glasgow. Whether you think it’s good or bad, it’s a time to put Glasgow and Scotland on the international map. With trepidation we turned on the t.v. to watch the opening ceremony. John Barrowman………………not exactly our cup of tea but we know he is in huge demand for pantomime. Is this boding well we ask ourselves? Karen Dunbar, a bit “in your face” but like some of her stuff. Needn’t have worried really. The ordinary people from various community groups in Scotland stole the show, along with the humour which was definitely Scottish. Good use was made of theRead More →

Referendum Thoughts (1) I have been participating in the Yes campaign, and find it is exhilarating, exciting and enjoyable. The people involved are of all parties and none, all they want is independence. From being wary of people in other parties I find it refreshing to work alongside former opponents. On the doorstep it is normal for your canvassing partner to declare their previous vote and to stress that this is not an election for a political party, but for Scotland – for the right to make our own decisions, and our own mistakes, and the power to change them if we get things wrong.Read More →

The campaign for Scottish independence has been on the go now in some shape or form for over three hundred years. Having lunch with branch organiser David Linden yesterday, we started to feel the finish line in sight – now in terms of weeks and days rather than long months and longer years. Our branch has been working hard, leafleting and canvassing constantly for years now. It feels odd to be scheduling in the final deliveries, the target areas for canvassing, the strategy for the most crucial polling day Scotland has ever seen. Yet these final weeks are indeed the most important. Our canvassing tellsRead More →

Last Friday, I accepted an invite from a close friend, who happens to be a Strathclyde University alumnus, to attend a panel debate chaired by Prof John Curtice. On the Yes side were Humza Yousaf, Zara Kitson and Ivan McKee, three talented, up-and-coming politicians. On the No side, Jim Murphy, Baroness Annabel Goldie and Lord George Robertson (apologies to aficionados of peerage etiquette, first names should never be used in relation to addressing life peers). As was to be expected of two former Defence Secretaries, Jim Murphy and George Robertson focused on NATO membership and the Clyde’s reliance on MOD procurement to maintain jobs inRead More →

I am often asked by some of the many young visitors to the Parliament what I think is the best thing the Parliament has delivered for the people of Scotland. I am sure that MSPs from across the Parliament give many answers to that from the Smoking Ban to the Climate Change legislation. But, for me, it is the 2007 decision to extend the education rights that are enjoyed by Scottish-domiciled students to the children of asylum seekers. A Government press release from the time stated: “Children of asylum families are to have the same access to full time further and higher education as ScottishRead More →

In June 2000, the Scots Independent had a dilemma; as a monthly publication, which had served very well since 1926, the unexpected advent of a Scottish Parliament meant a change of pace was required, as Scottish issues came to the fore in a way undreamed of. The paper had been a weekly when I joined the SNP in 1966 and circulated almost completely through SNP branches; I lived in Peterhead at the time and every week we had copies of the SI delivered to every barber’s, doctor’s surgery, dentist’s surgery and the bus station – the railway had long gone by that time! The factRead More →

I had hoped not to have to mention Obama. As I have had to spend so much time this past weekend sitting around with an elevated foot I am fed up hearing what he said. Have the people of the United States of America forgotten the thousands of lives lost in a bloody war trying to gain THEIR independence from Britain? Why is it so appalling for us to be able to do it peacefully through the ballot box? Ooops, BBC just announced on Monday evening that he was asked by the British government to intervene. Has Cameron no shame! Crawling to other world leadersRead More →

Today is the 70th Anniversary of the D Day Landings in Normandy Around this time we were on holiday in Carfin, Lanarkshire. In these days, and for long after the War as well, we only went on holiday where we had relatives and my mother had a few around Carfin and New Stevenson. I remember the timing of this one, because day after day, there was a steady stream of army lorries, jeeps, half tracks, armoured cars and tanks rolling through Carfin on the way south. As children, I was 9 at the time, we shouted greetings and childish banter from the windows of theRead More →

Picking up where Grant Thoms left off in last week’s Flag in the Wind, the European Election results were announced on Monday. It always feels a bit odd to go home after a long polling day effort… and wait. I must admit it was nice to soak in the bath and put my feet up rather than face an early morning at the count, but the not knowing is very strange! In my own branch of Shettleston, David Linden had knock-up teams pushing through polling districts from early on polling day until most voters were heading for their beds. We got a keen response fromRead More →

As I write this on the eve of the European Parliament poll, Scotland is about to vote to elect its 6 Members of the European Parliament. On Monday lunchtime, we will know how Scotland has decided. I hope that the opinion polls are correct and that the D’Hondt system of allocating seats will reward the SNP and possibly the Greens with 3 and 1 seat. This would be an emphatic lift for the YES campaign – even though we say the European elections are nothing to do with the referendum. The media will dissect the result to suit their own agendas. Three seats for theRead More →