“Independence” indeed!

Well, it’s not every day you get a letter published in The Guardian The very idea that a win on a day, like a cup final or a medieval battle at Bannockburn, resolves complex issues needs to be full-on refuted. Secondly, the very idea that creating more borders...

“We didnae vote for it” is a plaintive cry

It is quite possible that the SNP will be the biggest party in Holyrood after the May elections, and no doubt they will have in their manifesto that that will give them a mandate to call another referendum. Boris Johnson is their best recruiting sergeant, but the SNP...

Living Leith – the only Leith there is

Living Leith – well indeed, I was interviewed recently by a very nice couple of young ladies about my take on Leith. It was almost to the week the 40th anniversary of my arrival here, so I suppose I had a bit to say. After we had finished, off air, one of them...

A hundred years ago in Leith…

That’s me only in Leith forty years (exactly, this weekend), and the Edinburgh Council invites me to do an online presentation of what made Leith so damn special in 1920 that they voted 6:1 against amalgamation. Believe me the hard bit was leaving out good...

From Mark Renton (Leith) to Shuggie Bain ((Pollok)

Well done indeed to Douglas Stuart and winning the Booker Prize with Shuggie Bain. I haven’t read it yet, but I will. From what I gather, the setting is very similar to the setting in Trainspotting: crap housing scheme, poverty, and the arrival of heroin. In...

On referendums and plebiscites

It’s very noticeable that nobody – that’s nobody – seriously makes the case for settling the “independence” discussion by means of a referendum. Our voting system is designed to elect named, accountable people for office for a fixed...