• Politics

    Brexit… What’s Next?

    Fans of the TV series West Wing will recognise the catchphrase of President Jed Bartlet. ‘What’s next?’, he’d exclaim as he solved one tricky political conundrum and moved on. Sadly, real life politicians don’t have the option of wrapping everything up nice and tidily before the end credits roll. Real life is messy, and by God it doesn’t get any messier than the clusterfuck Brexit.

  • Politics

    The Question of Independence

        I didn’t intend to write about this topic, but over the past few weeks I have become increasingly annoyed and disappointed at the direction the debate has taken. It seems to have descended to name-calling and point-scoring, which only serves to discourage engagement. I’m not singling out either side, as both have been guilty of this. The schadenfreude shown when pointing out mistakes of the other side, the glee when one of their own scores a point… it is all very unedifying and off-putting. I should state at this point that I shall be voting ‘No’, so if you are only here to find arguments in favour of Scottish…

  • Politics

    Paul McMullan – Are We Accomplices?

    Has there ever been such an explosive and, quite frankly, entertaining witness at a public enquiry as Paul McMullan, ex News of the World journalist turned whistleblower? Picture Credit Twitter almost exploded this afternoon as McMullan gave evidence about phone hacking, journalistic methods and the ties between the press, the police and politics in UK. He admitted being proud of the Name and Shame campaign that led to a paediatrician being beaten up by yobs who misunderstood the difference between paediatrician and paedophile. He defended phone hacking as being a “perfectly acceptable tool”. He was asked if phone hacking was widespread at the NoW and if his editors know about…

  • Politics

    Apprenticeships – A Quick Fix for Youth Unemployment?

    The UK government announced the Youth Contract Scheme, intended to get Britain’s youth working. Currently, there are over 1 million British youth on the unemployment register, and it is vital to get these people working. Is the new initiative likely to do this? Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister has stated that Youth Contract Scheme will not be paid for by one single tax or saving measure, raising the question of how it will be financed. That should become clear on Tuesday, when George Osborne announces the Autumn budget. Up to 410,000 work and training placements will be created in England, Wales and Scotland by giving employers wage incentives equivalent to…

  • Politics

    Daily Mail, Lies and Statistics

    My blog went viral last night. I had more hits in 2 hours than I normally have in more than a week. Sadly, not because of a scintillating piece of social commentary, or because thousands of people were interested in my writing. Although if any of you want to stick around and read some of my other posts, that would be jolly nice. Simply because I was one of the people who grabbed a screenshot of the Daily Mail, exposing their lies.       Some commented that it was hardly a surprise, some noted that it was normal for newspapers to write up the opposing stories in order to get…

  • Politics

    Daily Mail Posts in Lies Shocker

    It is not unusual for a newspaper to write up two versions of a story, so that when the announcement is made, they can get their story online faster. What the Daily Mail did tonight went above and beyond being prepared. They made up the story. Fabricated quotes.     This is not being prepared, having two versions of the story ready to go out. It is plain and simple lying. If we start just making up the story, attributing quotes to people, writing about suicide watch and psychological assessments, then we may as well just not bother calling it news. Lets call it gossip. Fabrication. Lies. Assumption. But please…

  • Politics

    Foreign Language Teaching In Scottish Schools

    It was with interest that I read the article in The Scotsman about foreign language teaching in Scottish schools. Throughout the country, Mandarin is becoming more popular than traditionally taught German. Some schools and even school districts will not be offering German lessons at all.     This is said to be in response to the growth in political and, more importantly, economic strength of China. The setting up of Confucius Classrooms has boosted interest, as has the feeling that children will need to speak the official Chinese language to get ahead in business life when they are older. I have misgivings about this. When I was in school, we were…

  • Politics

    21st Century Clearances

    This is what the blogger GentleOtter calls the situation facing tenant farmers in Scotland right now. Feudal. Medieval. Unfuckingbelievable. GentleOtter and her family live and farm in the Perthshire Glens. An idyllic location that hides the desperation that she and many other tenant farmers face right now. She started blogging last winter, that harsh and unforgiving winter, when they were without running water or heat for weeks. During that winter, GentleOtter posted about the barn needing repaired, she wrote to Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, she tried not to panic when her husband suffered a heart attack, and we all breathed a sigh of relief when he recovered well from the…