Column: Ending furlough scheme is a mistake

In my column in the East Lothian Courier I look at some of the major consequences of dropping the Furlough Scheme at the end of this month: “As the furlough scheme ends, it’s going to get worse. For that reason, it’s a huge mistake by the Tory Government to be ending the scheme that has worked well and when some… Read more »

Column: Greater COVID vigilance is needed

In my Column in the East Lothian Courier this week I discuss the need for greater vigilance in the face of rising case numbers in the constituency. “The coronavirus outbreak at the East Lothian Community Hospital and tightened lockdown re-imposed in the west of Scotland show the need for vigilance. “Outbreaks can occur in even the most rigorous of regimes…. Read more »

Worrying figures on unemployment

In my column in the East Lothian Courier this week, I discuss the worrying trend in unemployment, and how that trend looks increase due to the end of the Furlough scheme. “Unemployment is creeping up, increasing by 180 in July from June. More worryingly, it’s up by 70 for youngsters aged 18-24. The rate of 5.6 per cent is still… Read more »

Column: Plastic pollution: West can’t dump its waste on Africa

In my column in the Scotsman this week I discuss how “wars fought with weapons exported from developed countries, economic problems and environmental degradation are among the reasons why people leave developing countries in search of a better life.” “I don’t know why poor 
Mercy Baguma died or what brought her here. But it’s a tragedy that is going to… Read more »

Column: Let’s keep things as local as possible

In my column in the East Lothian Courier I write about visiting the East Lothian Community Hospital. It was also an opportunity for me to meet trade union reps, which was humbling. Like others, I’ve seen on social media how hard it is for so many in the NHS who continue to give so much. Hearing the stories personally was… Read more »

Column: Please ‘wild camp’ properly

In my column in this week’s East Lothian Courier I reflect on how the “downsides of ‘staycationing’ has been felt across the county.” Tourism is vital for East Lothian, with businesses and jobs depending upon it. The recent rush of visitors to hotels and chalet parks has been welcome and badly needed given that so much has been lost. But… Read more »

Column: Striking the Right Balance

In my column in this week’s East Lothian Courier I discuss wearing masks, and getting the balance right between ensuring safe spaces for people in our communities and designing appropriate responses to local issues. “Remembering to take a mask can be frustrating when you’ve left home without one. I’ve started keeping them in different pockets and in the car or… Read more »

Column: The trashing of Scotland’s countryside must stop

In my column in the Scotsman I have written about the need for greater care for our countryside from visitors, in light of concerning recent reports from across Scotland, including in East Lothian. “The right to roam runs deep in the Scottish soul. People were rightly angered by being excluded from land that they saw as their birthright and progress… Read more »

Column: Connections are key

In this week’s column in the East Lothian Courier I discuss our need to ‘ca’ canny’ as we head towards our new normal. “Getting out to shops, cafes and pubs is important for wellbeing, as much as our economy. I’ve enjoyed a coffee outdoors, nattering to friends and meeting with constituents. Simple things like that which we once took for… Read more »

Please wear a mask

In my Column in the East Lothian Courier this week I discuss the importance of wearing masks at this time, as it becomes compulsory in shops as well as on public transport. London is a vast contrast to my more rural home. In some ways it was easier than my usual journey, with trains and subway quieter. However, everywhere, north… Read more »