Easter offers hope to weary souls

There’s a saying in Scotland: ‘it’s a sair fecht’. Essentially, it means ‘life’s hard’. We use it when we’re feeling frustrated or worn out. And let’s face it: we all do, at times. Most of us travel through our days at lightspeed, rushing from work, to exercise, to family duties, to socialising, and collapsing inContinue reading “Easter offers hope to weary souls”

Small boats bill threatens the most marginalised

Earlier this week, the UK Government announced new legislation designed to address the perilous situation on the English Channel, where thousands of people are entering the UK on small boats. The Illegal Migration Bill would place a legal duty on the Home Secretary to remove people who have entered Britain illegally. Legislation of this kind has longContinue reading “Small boats bill threatens the most marginalised”

Forbes is best for Scotland and the SNP

The race to succeed Scotland’s longest-serving First Minister was always going to be interesting, but who would have predicted the roller coaster ride we’ve witnessed in its first few days? Twists and turns; personal animosity; a debate on the intersection of religion and politics; and barely anything about independence or major issues that have populatedContinue reading “Forbes is best for Scotland and the SNP”

Farewell to a First Minister

This morning, in a public reception room at Bute House, Scotland’s longest-serving First Minister announced that she is stepping down. In a characteristically polished speech, bereft of the high emotion that sometimes accompanies such occasions, Nicola Sturgeon explained that after fifteen years in ministerial office, she simply doesn’t have enough left in the tank: “GivingContinue reading “Farewell to a First Minister”

End-of-life doctors won’t end lives

Data published this week deals a blow to campaigners vying for legal assisted suicide in Scotland. Survey results from the Association for Palliative Medicine (APM) suggest that most Scottish palliative doctors would refuse to participate in assisted deaths. Close to half of those surveyed also said they’d resign if their employer chose to offer assistedContinue reading “End-of-life doctors won’t end lives”

Scotland’s democratic deficit

Somebody once said that democracy is a slow process of stumbling to the right decision instead of going straight forward to the wrong one. There’s truth in that. When democracy is working well, governments, held to account by elected legislatures, take sufficient time to get decisions right. Decision-making follows robust and constructive debate, consultation withContinue reading “Scotland’s democratic deficit”

The peace we crave: 2022 reflection

The end of each year offers a chance for reflection and 2022 has certainly given us much to contemplate. At the start January, the UK was emerging from an unprecedented and very difficult pandemic period. Just as normal life was starting to resume, news broke of war in Europe – Putin’s army had invaded Ukraine.Continue reading “The peace we crave: 2022 reflection”

The gender law is a democratic failure

There you have it. After years of heated debate both inside and outside Holyrood, the Scottish Government’s gender law has been passed. This afternoon, after a marathon Stage 3 debate, 86 MSPs gave final assent to the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. 39 voted against. In a few months, barring a legal challenge, people agedContinue reading “The gender law is a democratic failure”