Who Owns Scotland’s Future?

Next Saturday is a historic Scottish political landmark, for it is a decade on from the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement. On 15 October 2012, four people sat in a room together representing two opposing tiers of the British state. Ratifying the deal for the UK Government coalition of 2010 was former UK Prime MinisterContinue reading “Who Owns Scotland’s Future?”

There is a Solution to this Economic Shambles

Do you remember a bygone era when a new appointee, be they a prime minister or football manager, would be given time to get their feet under the table before their employers started to plan their exit? The UK is in a state of full-blown economic turmoil and, following a package inflating the burgeoning balancesContinue reading There is a Solution to this Economic Shambles

We Cannot Afford to Shut Our Doors on Hunger

Today is a day of mourning. Many tears will be shed, the sadness will be tangible and pain very deep and real. In homes across the country, families will grieve together and, in fact, I believe their expressions of sorrow should not be limited only to them and minimised only to a day but shouldContinue reading “We Cannot Afford to Shut Our Doors on Hunger”

1,330 New Reasons for Reflection

I remember my first NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting. It was a dreich night around 2007 situated in the shadows of Alexander Street’s prominent ‘multis’ in the now-demolished Mark Henderson Centre on Ann Street. I was invited “Big Mike” Carson, a friend who overcame two decades of class A drug addiction. Although then unmarried and childless,Continue reading “1,330 New Reasons for Reflection”

Reflections from the Lesser Half of Society

Thank goodness it is Monday. I feel like the Rev IM Jolly when I say: “Ah’ve hud a helluva week!” It all started when I was awoken one morning to my mobile phone quivering like a fiddler’s elbow. Why? I discovered I was attached to what felt like a ceaseless barrage of notifications from thatContinue reading “Reflections from the Lesser Half of Society”

Are Buffer Zones Acceptable in a Free Society?

Today is the fourth of July and many Americans will celebrate 246 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed. This document, which some historians suggest leans upon our Declaration of Arbroath, declares the equality of its citizens. It also states they are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” including “life, liberty andContinue reading “Are Buffer Zones Acceptable in a Free Society?”

Is Scotland Ready for Independence?

On Saturday, I went on my first ever independence march with 2,000 other men, women and children in Bannockburn on what was the 708th anniversary of the historic battle. This place is hallowed ground to nationalists, as it is there the journey began. However, we no longer fight with swords and shields but, in theContinue reading “Is Scotland Ready for Independence?”

Darren McGarvey: The Social Distance Between Us

It was a bitter Friday night in January 2018 situated in a dingy basement at the cultural epicentre of Dundee where I first encountered Darren McGarvey. That night, I picked up a signed copy of his debut effort – Poverty Safari. His honest and nuanced analysis of the poverty industry (the voluntary sector) was jarring.Continue reading “Darren McGarvey: The Social Distance Between Us”

A Continuation of The Status Quo?

Following Scottish Labour’s obliteration in the tsunami election of 2015, Scottish politics entered an interminable period of inertia. The initial buoyancy around an influx of new and untested personalities quickly wore off. Nearer to home at Holyrood, political agitators and outliers – like Dennis Canavan, Margo MacDonald, Tommy Sheridan or, more recently, Neil Findlay, AdamContinue reading “A Continuation of The Status Quo?”

Thank Christ for a Message of Resurrection

As we pull away from a cold and dark winter, the embrace of spring offers brighter mornings, warmer days and lighter nights. It is the most hopeful season of nature’s calendar at the epicentre of which is April – a month traditionally associated with rebirth, renewal and resurrection. April includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday andContinue reading “Thank Christ for a Message of Resurrection”