The Abolitionists Bard – Scotsman Article – 20 January 2022

Amidst the debate over the statue to Henry Dundas and Scotland’s role in the slave trade, it’s often forgotten that arguably the two greatest proponents of abolition were avid fans of Scotland’s Bard. Many are aware that Burns once briefly contemplated going to Jamaica though thankfully didn’t, but few know that Abraham Lincoln who waged war over the issue and… Read more »

The Wrong Fight – Scotsman Article – 20 January 2022

I was listening to Irish band “The Fureys” singing “Gallipoli”. It’s often forgotten that 4,000 Irishmen fell in that military debacle not just the ANZAC troops normally associated with it. The song contains the lines “you fought for the wrong country and you died for the wrong cause” as no sooner was that battle over than the Easter Rising took… Read more »

OFFSHORE WIND GIVEAWAY IS SELLING THE FAMILY SILVER CHEAP WHILE SCOTS PENSIONERS FREEZE

OFFSHORE WIND GIVEAWAY IS SELLING THE FAMILY SILVER CHEAP WHILE SCOTS PENSIONERS FREEZE SAYS MACASKILL Reacting today (Monday) to the outcome of the application process for ScotWind leasing by Crown Estate Scotland, the ALBA Party Depute Leader and MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill MP said: “This offshore wind giveaway is selling the family silver cheap while Scots families face crippling energy… Read more »

MACASKILL CALLS FOR ROUTE DEVELOPMENT FUND TO ENSURE DIRECT FERRY LINKS TO EUROPE – Westminster Hall Debate

Speaking  (Wednesday) in a Westminster Hall Debate on Direct Ferry Services between Scotland and Mainland Europe, Kenny MacAskill MP will call on the Scottish Government to establish a Ferry Route Development Fund and will accuse Scottish Ministers of being less radical than former First Minister Lord Jack McConnell who established the air route development fund.  He will also call on the UK… Read more »

Alba and the Local Election – Scottish Left Review – December 2021

The local elections will be challenging for Alba but are equally a great opportunity for a still fledgling party. The mainstream media blackout imposed in May, will likely continue but the party’s growing in membership and its activist base will be campaigning hard around the country. Organisation and structure missing for the Scottish Parliament elections is now being established and… Read more »

Silo Democracy – Scotsman Article – 6 January 2022

Coronavirus with all the restrictions and even lockdowns imposed have changed our way of life, and some of the changes will be irrevocable. Many pubs will stay shut never to open again and even working life and travel patterns will be permanently altered for many. But it’ll also impact upon our democracy and that’s where I’ve concerns. 2022’s the centenary… Read more »

Where Now for Drug Policy – Scotsman Article – 6 January 2022

The resignations of Catriona Matheson and Neil Richardson from the Scottish Governments Drug Death Task Force must have been a bitter blow to the current Minister Angela Constance. The individuals who’ve departed have a wealth of experience. They’re in with the bricks in the sector and their actions whilst personal, no doubt reflecting a wider view. To be fair to… Read more »

Ferries and Fuel – Scotsman Article – 30 December 2021

We’ve started so we’ll finish seems to be the maxim for the SNP Government with regard to the ships languishing in the Ferguson Yard on the Clyde, yet badly required in island communities. And while a rush for an announcement to herald what was viewed as a political triumph in 2015 lies at the root of what went wrong, there… Read more »

Opinion Polls – Scotsman Article – 30 December 2021

With Parliaments in recess, political interest has turned to opinion polls where there’s been much rejoicing by Labour and triumphalism by the SNP. However, as past elections disclose, the former are celebrating too soon and the latter resting on their laurels. I’ve been in politics long enough to see leads prove chimeral and failure to act prove costly.  In 1992… Read more »

MACASKILL CHALLENGES SCOTTISH POLICE AUTHORITY OVER SELF IDENTIFICATION IN THE RECORDING OF SEX CRIMES BY MEN – 30 December 2021

ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP has written to the Chair of the Scottish Police Authority Martyn Evans following receipt of a reply from the Assistant Chief Constable of Police Scotland Gary Ritchie which confirms that Police Scotland are recording sex crimes against women as having been committed by a female where the male perpetrator of rape or other sexual assault chooses to “present (or self… Read more »

“TIME FOR LEADERSHIP, ACTION AND UNITY” – MACASKILL – 30 December 2021

ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP has called for an Independence Convention to break the logjam between the Westminster and Holyrood Governments over Scotland’s right to choose her constitutional future in an Independence Referendum.  In a statement Kenny MacAskill MP for East Lothian said: “The right of Scotland’s people to determine their constitutional future is theirs and theirs alone. 2022 must be the year when… Read more »

MACASKILL TO QUIZ UK GOVERNMENT OVER BBC SPENDING IN SCOTLAND AS HE CALLS ON THE BBC TO STOP “SHORT CHANGING” SCOTTISH LICENCE PAYERS – 23 December 2021

ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill is tabling written parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the funding of BBC Scotland compared to other nations and regions in the UK.  Previous figures published by the BBC have shown a clear discrepancy between the amount which the BBC raises from TV licence payers in Scotland and… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 23 December 2021

A damper has come down upon the Festive Season as another coronavirus variant strikes. Yet the Omicron variant has hardly come as a bolt from the blue. With so many billions in the undeveloped world unvaccinated and where the UK and US have been complicit in restricting the ability of poorer countries to acquire them, it was always a threat…. Read more »

BBC Personality of the Year – Scotsman Article – 23 December 2021

I confess that I didn’t bother watching BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Past shows and indeed the nominations for this years awards again showed it to be largely for viewers south of the border. Good luck to them and I hope they enjoyed it. But its not a reflection on Sports in Scotland.   My issue isn’t with who… Read more »

Jury Less Trials – Scotsman Article – 23 December 2021

Should every criminal trial be held before a Jury of your peers? There’s certainly good arguments to be made for it. I’ve also been sympathetic to the concept of community justice where the decision on punishment for minor infractions should be localised. I’ve always found communities to be far less retributive than people think. It would also allow for far… Read more »

War in Ukraine – Scotsman Article – 26 December 2021

An old Tory buffer spoke in a question on the Ukraine in Westminster making it clear that for him Ukraine wasn’t worth the life of one British soldier. It went down like a lead balloon in a Chamber where many contributions not just from Tories but shamefully Labour and even SNP, were more akin to lines from the old hit… Read more »

A Century On – Scotsman Article – 16 December 2021

In December 1921 Irish elected representatives were in London negotiating the Irish Free State’s establishment. A century on SNP MPs still seek to administer the British State. Johnson should go because he’s a complete charlatan with no moral compass. His jaiket’s on a shoogly peg at Number 10 but then what? In the 2014 referendum I joked to audiences about… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 9 December 2021

Last weeks winds were frightening. My stairs roof was damaged and driving south to Newcastle for a train, the carnage of trees was obvious. For long Scotland’s climate has been a nuisance, even dangerous. But there’s one aspect in which it’s now a boon. Scotland has 25% of Europe’s offshore wind capacity. All across the county there’s evidence of offshore… Read more »

The Age of Repression – Scotsman Article – 9 December 2021

A dark cloud hangs over our democracy and it’s not restricted to actions abroad and taken by totalitarian or authoritarian regimes. Internal repression, as well as brutality, has been a hallmark of China and Russia. It’s grim and worrying, we know all that. But western democracy was supposed to be not just an alternative but a beacon of hope for… Read more »