Category Archives: Press Release

East Lothian Courier – 02 July 2021


Football’s coming home all right but not as hoped by some, as it’s the staggering rise in infections that’s winning. It may have been the young lads who travelled and others of all ages who gathered that’s fired it but just what did Governments both sides of the border expect would happen? When youth football was unable to resume for… Read more »

Sporting Integrity – Scotsman Article – 29 June 2021


With the Olympics coming round again I’ve been minding past moments. In particular, the 100 metres contest in 1988 that pitted the USAs Carl Lewis against Canada’s Ben Johnson. I suppose Allan Wells success at earlier games had sparked interest but, in any event, it’s one of the highlights for me. I confess to rooting for Johnson who seemed that… Read more »

Tactician Not Strategist – Scotsman Article – 29 June 2021


I’ve an old friend who spent many years in international affairs at the highest levels, often trying to broker settlements on very testing issues and mingling with all sorts of leaders. So, when he spoke I listened, and I recall him describing Nicola Sturgeon as a tactician not a strategist. By that he meant that she’s very able in setting… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 24 June 2021


It was disappointing to see East Lothian topping the coronavirus infections table last week. No doubt it was related to the football, both those that headed to London and others who simply gathered at home. Waiting at King’s Cross for the train home I saw several trains arrive from Scotland and it was a largely a new generation of the… Read more »

SNP Indy Funds – Scotsman Article – 22 June 2021


It’s no surprise that neither Police nor the Crown thought there was any criminality involved in the Indy Ref 2 funds story. Both organisations view these matters as largely internal and given the wording of what people donated to it was always unlikely. They’ll see it as being for members or the Electoral Commission. But that doesn’t mean that in… Read more »

BBC Coverage – Scotsman Article – 22 June 2021


Speaking to a friend in Ireland, I enquired about coverage of the Euros there. Ireland hasn’t qualified but interest still remains, even if not the frenzy that existed under Jack Charlton many years ago now.   But commentary’s by RTE as the national channel and panelists for pre and post match reflection are again ex or current Irish internationals, or… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 11 June 2021


Valiant attempts were made last week in Parliament to restore what had been a Tory manifesto commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on foreign aid. Those doing the orchestrating were dome dissident Tories, but I was happy to support them as I believe what they were seeking to do was right. Sadly, the amendment to a Bill which… Read more »

Internal Democracy – Scotsman Article – 01 June 2021


The SNP’s no longer my party though internal democracy was a factor leading to my departure. Political parties governance is also largely for the membership, as with any such organisation. But the SNP’s no ordinary party as its the party of Government in Scotland and its influence is extensive across the land. Hence factors that would routinely not apply with… Read more »

Independence in the UK – Scotsman Article – 01 June 2021


Independence in the UK” has yet again been bandied about in political circles. My good friend Henry McLeish has long advocated it and now it’s the former long serving MEP David Martin who’s articulating it. Many mock or deride it on both sides of the constitutional divide and it’s not without difficulties, either in delivery or even definition.   Aside… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 04 June 2021


I’ve no doubt that the UK Government Minister would have enjoyed his visit to Glenkinchie last week. The new visitor centre’s a remarkable venue and it’s a tragedy that it’s been unable to be fully utilised due to restrictions. That’ll change soon but what won’t alter are the risks East Lothian and Scotland face from trade deals such as the… Read more »