Category Archives: News

East Lothian Courier – 23 May 2024


It’s been an honour and a privilege to represent East Lothian since 2019, however I will not be seeking re-election in the election now looming. It’s therefore appropriate that I express my gratitude for service and assistance given in dealing with constituency issues not just by my own staff but by others, especially council officials and other agencies. Their advice… Read more »

What’s Gone Wrong? 23 May 2024


Prison numbers are rising, staff are struggling to manage, and an early release scheme’s being brought in. Scotland isn’t alone as it’s mirrored down south. But Scotland was in a good place and a course laid by the Scottish Prisons Commission under Henry McLeish, so what’s gone wrong? We just shouldn’t be here. Numbers in custody are back where they… Read more »

What, Where and Who Decides? 22 May 2024


Applications for renewable energy projects are flooding in across Scotland. Many are welcome, but many are not, whether in their location or their scale. What and where are now vital questions being asked in communities? More importantly who will decide and from whose perspective will the criteria of balancing the environment with economic benefit be viewed. For there’s many Scottish… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 16 May 2024


The horror of Gaza continues unabated. Famine now afflicting the land along with disease and illness. Hunger there isn’t caused by any natural disaster but by the unremitting war being waged against civilians by Israel. Last week I heard from a Palestinian surgeon who’d been treating children there suffering wounds caused by white phosphorous munitions. That ignites in the atmosphere,… Read more »

Who’s Environment and Who’s Economic Benefit – 16 May 2024


I fully support the drive for renewables. The hottest April ever recorded in the northern hemisphere confirms our planet’s need, and our nation’s blessed with a natural bounty. My objection is not in principle but about consideration of just what we need, where it should be sited and whether what’s being done is even required, let alone appropriate. And although the environment and… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 9 May 2024


Last week I wrote about the concerns I had for mounting energy debt which now stands at a collective £3.1billion. With two thirds of that there’s neither any arrangement to pay nor for much of little likelihood of it being paid, without some assistance for those already struggling to meet current bills. Action needs taken before many drown in a… Read more »

John Swinney – 9 May 2024


It was a coronation not a challenge for John Swinney, thus avoiding what he’d previously faced when leading the SNP. But even though he won comfortably then and would have done so again, it’s indicative of a malaise surrounding him. For whilst he commands widespread respect, he neither enthuses the wider membership, let alone activists, nor cows’ dissent. Moreover, whilst… Read more »

Energy Debt – 2 May 2024


The level of energy debt now outstanding in Scotland and the UK is quite extraordinary. The collective sum amounting to a staggering £3.1 billion. Yes, billion not million. With folk wondering how they can pay their bills, we’ve now got many who can’t even meet what’s already owed. The situation’s also worsening. According to the UK fuel poverty charity National… Read more »

Humza Yousaf – 2 May 2024


The House of Sturgeon continued burning down and the flames have now consumed her successor.  Sturgeon loyalists even fanning the fires around Humza Yousaf, deciding he was toast and manoeuvring to replace him even when he was still considering his options. Now to try and salvage something from the embers New SNP turns to John Swinney out of desperation. All… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 25 April 2024


These are worrying times. The plight of Palestinians becomes more harrowing every day and now a wider conflict threatens. Similarly, in Ukraine the war wages on and the risks of it drawing in many more lands grows. De-escalation is required, yet instead there’s bellicosity and planning for war. My grandfather served in the First World War and my father in… Read more »