Category Archives: Press Release

The Law of the Innocents – 19 October 2023


The idea of protecting civilians in conflict is longstanding, not just through the Geneva Accords and other international rules established following horrific world wars. Some 1,300 years ago, the protection of women and children was invoked by St Adomnan of Iona, noted as St Columba’s biographer. In 697 AD at Birr, Ireland, he promulgated the “Law of the Innocents” to try… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 19 October 2023


Parliament has only just returned from the recess for Party Conferences. But everything has been overshadowed by international events. These are frightening and depressing times. Conflict in the Middle East has seen war in Europe almost forgotten but tragically it’s still ongoing. Atrocities perpetrated against civilians must be condemned unreservedly and by whoever perpetrates them. But what is badly required… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 12 October 2023


Turbines in the Firth are visible, mirroring those already on the hills. Energy’s flowing but how to maximize the benefits for the county remains the critical question. Transmission stations and upgrading the national grid are essential but other aspects also arise which are seeing planning applications for sites. Many of the proposals are sensible but their location’s the issue. Long… Read more »

Post Rutherglen By-election – 12 October 2023


The flames consuming the House of Sturgeon have set alight Continuity SNP and Humza Yousaf’s now firefighting. Unless he takes prompt action, he’s going to find himself engulfed.Saying the Labour vote in the Rutherglen by-election was down on past elections simply won’t cut it. His continuation of New SNP policies and lack of direction on the party’s raison d’etre has… Read more »

Fishing News: Ferry Fiasco – 11 October 2023


The UK’s made up of many islands not just Great Britain, and there’s also plenty archipelagos, as the fishing community knows with many based there down through centuries not just generations. They require ferries and they’re not a luxury but a lifeline. Cancellation for bad weather’s understood by those who also navigate the waters. The occasional breakdown’s similarly understood but… Read more »

Anger and Courage – 5 October 2023


Last week when Suella Braverman was making a disgraceful speech to an American right-wing thinktank, I was attending the Premiere of Ken Loach’s latest movie “The Old Oak. Both focused on immigration and touched upon multiculturalism. The contrast though between the two was marked. Suella Braverman’s the latest iteration of tough talking Tory Home Secretaries. Theresa May seemed the nadir… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 5 October 2023


Tourism’s changed, bringing new challenges for communities. Recently, I took my eldest son to the Isle of Lewis to show him family graves and the sites I knew as a boy when grandparents annually. Cruise liners were in Stornoway Harbour every day, dwarfing the Cal Mac ferry we’d sailed in on and bringing challenges to local scenic sites. Providing for… Read more »

Tourist Taxes – 28 September 2023


A few weeks ago I took my eldest son to the Isle of Lewis showing him his great-grandparents graves and the Island more generally. Tourist sites like the Calanais stones and Luskentyre beach were the busiest I can ever recall, and it wasn’t peak summer. When Justice Secretary I remember being taken to the stones by the Island police commander… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 28 September 2023


We can’t roll back on commitments to tackle climate change and the Prime Minister’s proposals and posturing are just wrong. It’s not just climate activists who have spoken out but industry with Ford lamenting the changes and emphasizing the need for commitment and continuity. Other countries have spoken out against his plans, not just developing countries, but even the President… Read more »

Scotland’s Role in Slavery – 21 September 2023


Rebutting the suggestion that Scots were taken as slave’s is important, but more so is consideration of just what Scotland’s role was in that heinous trade. For like many, if not most, I’d once assumed it was little. For sure the big houses and estates in the Highlands and elsewhere indicative of the wealth made by a few through enforced… Read more »