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A Very Dark Place 168

Posted on March 19, 2024 by

I make no apology for what I am about to write because while I’ve said it before, the time to do so is running out.

In a couple of weeks, the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 will come into effect and my world, and that of women up and down Scotland will enter a very dark place.

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Less Equal Than Others 124

Posted on January 19, 2024 by

On Tuesday 16th January the UK parliament put beyond doubt that their claims down the centuries that the UK is a respectful union of equals is, and always was, a lie.

This was the second time I’d brought my Scotland (Self-Determination) Bill before the house and there are various opinions floating around about the reasons for, and implications of, introducing the legislation as drafted. Wings kindly suggested I set out my reasons for bringing it forward for a second time, and why I consider Tuesday’s defeat in the chamber as a Pyrrhic victory for the union.

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At close of day 276

Posted on April 16, 2023 by

Some years ago while working in the NHS I investigated a situation where a group of very senior staff colluded in an attempt to cover up the misdeeds of a colleague, in the full knowledge of the devastating effect their dishonesty would have.

Yet in amongst that betrayal of professional ethical values one person’s integrity could not be swayed and they spoke the candid truth. I don’t know how it affected them in the long run, but it was clear that integrity mattered to them and doing the wrong thing was a burden they were unwilling to carry.

Anyway, their courage  to hold firm to these principles impressed me and chimed with the values I believe are absolutely necessary when you are charged with responsibility over the lives of others: honesty, integrity and a strong sense of justice.

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Safeguarding is universal 138

Posted on November 05, 2022 by

Last week Nicola Sturgeon’s government introduced the Gender Recognition Reform Bill (GRRB) at stage one. Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison’s introductory speech sounded reasonable and fair, but those words do not match the deeds of the SNP leadership and they do not reflect reality.

The behaviour of the SNP leadership towards anyone with even the most benign question about this legislation has been aggressive, dismissive, and openly hostile.

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Shut up or get out 562

Posted on July 24, 2022 by

When I entered front line politics in 2012 as an SNP councillor, I was clear that my guiding ambition was to play a full part in the restoration of independence to Scotland. Over the past 10 years that commitment has only strengthened as the need for independence has grown ever more urgent. From oil and gas, to wind, tidal, wave and hydro Scotland’s vast energy resources keeps the UK powered and Her Majesty’s Treasury pumped full of cash.

Make no mistake, Scotland IS the broad shoulders of the UK.

Our reward for that vast contribution of energy, food, drink and water? To be fleeced of those resources, charged for transmitting our energy, denied access to associated revenue and berated, and ridiculed in the “mother of all parliaments”.

But it’s the social injustice that results from this distortion of governance that is finally beginning to dawn on many as the cost-of-living crisis deepens and more Scots find they are paying through the nose for energy when Scotland produces far more than we could possibly need.

When I rose to my feet on Wednesday 13th July, I had no doubt about the words I was going to say. I had no doubt about who I would be speaking to, and I had no doubt about who I was speaking for.

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A letter to the members of the SNP 313

Posted on March 28, 2021 by

Dear Friends,

Following considerable reflection, I am writing to tell you of a decision I have reached and to set out my reasoning.

My primary focus is and always will be achieving our shared ambition of independence for Scotland.

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