Scottish drugs deaths – denial of the problem

Just too late to join the row about the record-breaking illegal drug deaths in Scotland, here’s a letter I didn’t send to the press. Recent correspondence is quite right to point out that the cause of the scale of the Scottish drug-related deaths is...

Call this maintenance? Where’s the accountability?

Last week I sent this image of weeds the whole length of the gutter of our street, dense and up to almost 2 feet high, to my MSP and councillors. I asked them for a well-informed opinion on how it has got to this stage. Ben MacPherson MSP (SNP) said it was a Council...

An open letter to my SNP candidate

Dear Ben, I was pleased to see you and the other candidates at the Leith Churches Together hustings last evening. Talking it over with church friends – not party friends –  this morning, there is some consensus about the most disgraceful thing said: when you said that...

Their only way is down.

Not content with reaping the ill-gotten gains of the iniquitous first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting arrangements for Westminster (if they were iniquitous when Labour was the beneficiary, they are still iniquitous), Alex Salmond is now gaming the voting arrangements for...

The tide is going out…

I don’t think I’m complacent, but I do think there’s almost no danger of IndyRef2 and Scottish separation from rUK for the forseeable. The SNP may have a majority at Holyrood after May, but there are big doubts about that and at any rate it is...

Twenty-five years on…

Date: 23 February, 1996. Scene: Glasgow Filmhouse. Action: premiere of Trainspotting. Effects: the birth of a cultural and box office fireball. Reactions were mixed: Trainspotting has a shallow, joyless ring… it embraces a new soulless addiction to...

“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...