I’VE been doing politics a long time but I can’t recall navigating such an angry political environment. Some days it feels like the air is bubbling away with little pockets of fury. Even during the aftermath of the 2014 referendum, there was more hurt and less fury. But perhaps that’s because the 45 percent who voted for Scottish independence were still represented, via the Scottish Government, independent-leaning publications such as The National, and a sense that this energy would be focused into something more positive.
First published in The National, 5 April 2017Read more
“It feels like a death.”
“Is that it?”
"What a mess"
“How can they STILL not know what they want?”
Crammed into my own office with a crowd of fellow MEPs on Wednesday, watching the UK Prime Minister trigger Article 50, I realised the damage Brexit has done to any credibility the UK Government had. Appropriately for a process so reliant on a trigger, many of my colleagues see the Brexit mess as akin to blowing your brains out in order to lose weight.
First published in the Sunday Herald, 2 April 2017
PROBABLY today, we will see Theresa May commence the triggering of Article 50. This unprecedented action will begin the countdown on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the culmination of years of nagging and low-level rebellion by – primarily – Tory backbenchers.
First published in The National, 29 March 2017Read more
TO hell with this nonsense. I thought the UK could be saved from itself, but even I have to accept that it’s now a ship speeding towards the rocks and they’re not changing course. Since the EU Referendum on June 23 it has been a daily struggle to keep cheerful, but I have been kept going by a belief that, yes, we have a challenge, but I think there are solutions, so let’s find them.
First published in The National, 14 March 2017Read more
THE days are starting to draw out, snowdrops are peeking through, the daffodils are sprouting, the trees are coming into bud, and for political anoraks up down Scotland it all means only one thing. Spring Party Conference season is upon us. Yay. The Labour Party conference kicked off last weekend and it was truly enlightening, albeit unintentionally. Like many, I was bemused by the bizarre comments from Sadiq Khan in his remarkably ill-judged remarks, but it seems Scottish Labour HQ can’t even smear us competently.
First published in The National, 2 March 2017.Read more
The face of how news is delivered has changed forever ... so here are a few tips for negotiating the new landscape
IT’S not just that social media has changed how we consume and use information, it’s the scale and speed with which it has happened. Time was, not long ago, you read a daily newspaper, watched the six o’clock news, listened to the wireless and counted yourself well informed. The BBC was trusted.
First published in The National, 24 February 2017Read more