An ACE Book – Scotsman Article – 12 May 2022

Being “ACE aware” has been a mantra in Scottish criminal justice for quite some time and rightly so. For those who don’t know what the acronym means its adverse childhood experiences. It’s many years now since I first heard the then Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns narrate the importance or rather damage that adverse childhood experiences could cause. It’s… Read more »

Groundhog Day Election – Scotsman Article – 12 May 2022

Groundhog Day! The local elections have been and gone but what’s changed. South of the border the Tories took a pasting, but Johnson clings on, tottering but more from internal Tory discontent than an external political threat. Events from Covid to Ukraine have protected him from a reckoning so far but they wont always be there and a day of… Read more »


UK GOVERNMENT MUST ACT OVER UNREGULATED FUELS – MACASKILL   ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP has today (Wednesday) unveiled a paper on the impact of the rising cost of unregulated fuel such as fuel oil in driving up levels of fuel poverty in the north east and rural Scotland.  Together with ALBA’s Cllr Leigh Wilson he is calling on the UK Government to… Read more »

HGV Speeds – Scotsman Article -5 May 2022

Do all road traffic regulations require to be the same across the UK? No, of course not. The nature of the road network in more densely populated England with its major motorway network makes it so. That said, there’s good reason why harmonisation in many aspects was and still is coming in across Europe, whatever Brexiteers may say. Certainly, in… Read more »

Peace in the Ukraine – Scotsman Article – 5 May 2022

“Peace will come. And let it begin with me” sang Tom Paxton. Writing at the time of Vietnam his words certainly don’t seem to apply to the war in the Ukraine, where Liz Truss and the SNP Westminster Hawks seem to revel in war, demanding even more of it. Thankfully, The UN Secretary General has been visiting Kiev and Moscow… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 5 May 2022

I’m a book person more than a TV fan but my wife enjoys the soaps and accordingly I occasionally watch them. I was therefore intrigued when I received an e mail saying that there was to be product placement of Heineken 0% alcohol in the Woolpack and Rovers Return. Now I don’t want to spoil anyone’s viewing but I think… Read more »


“SCOTTISH PUBLIC DESERVE ANSWERS TO KEY QUESTIONS” The former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MP has on Monday written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP demanding that she “come clean” and  provide “straight answers” to the questions about the contract signed by Scottish Ministers in relation to the yet to be completed Glen Sannox (801) and vessel 802 which are now over… Read more »

Partygate Inferno – Scotsman Article – 28 April 2022

Partygate’s burning up more than simply Boris Johnson’s political capital. The incessant drip of stories is fuelling the fire and he’s running out of road. The Tories can be ruthless when they view the leader as an electoral liability, as even Thatcher discovered. Previously though whilst the Prime Minister might go, the system remained unscathed. Not this time, now the… Read more »

Fuel Crisis Blame – Scotsman Article – 28 April 2022

Partygate may be the political chat but for most people it’s the fuel crisis that dominates. Johnson’s a sideshow, even war in Europe’s just a tragedy on their TV screen. For them, it’s the relentless grind of worrying whether they’ll be able to not just heat but power their home that afflicts. It’s much more than the simply the invidious… Read more »

The Distortion of Democracy – Scotsman Article – 21 April 2022

Boris Johnson’s regime is more and more akin to a kleptocracy. Elected not to improve the nation but instead enhance the wealth and privilege of its members and its core of powerful supporters.  The abuse evident in the unwillingness of so many cabinet members to declare whether they’ve non domiciled status. A simple question you might think in a party where grandees in years gone… Read more »

The Least Bad Option – Scotsman Article – 21 April 2022

Being the least bad option isn’t much of an electoral selling point. What does it say about candidate or party that they’re dependent on not being the other guy, rather than what they stand for or what they propose to do.  It’s also deeply damaging for democracy as it encourages abstentionism, as well as fuelling cynicism about politics in general. Yet worryingly it’s becoming much more prevalent. The clearest example’s the current French Presidential election…. Read more »