It’s there in black and white on the Scottish Government website: ‘People should avoid travelling unless it is essential…This guidance is for people planning to visit second homes…”. That the Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood broke that rule not once but twice is very bad. But the government mishandling thereafter raises more questions than the […]

A tortuous Sunday


Let’s develop a little scorecard on where we are with the economic measures in the UK and Scotland to cope with our new pandemic-world.  For corporations, we have 80 per cent of the wages they owe workers affected by Covid-19 covered by government. That’s a significant drop in their costs, overnight. For banks, we have […]

The bailout scorecard


There are worrying signs about the UK’s Covid-19 trajectory. The UK’s death toll is now higher than Italy’s was at this stage, and is following the US in accelerating when other countries were by now seeing the rate of increase slowing. ITV Political Editor Robert Peston responded to that fact by stating plainly: “This is […]

The (lack of) testing scandal


Food. Everyone needs it. It’s one of those universal essentials that goes on regardless of a pandemic. But most of us are so used to getting it on our plate that we don’t worry about it how it got there, and whether the mechanisms which led it to get there are resilient. There is growing […]

Chickens coming home to roost



Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a wise man if ever there was one, described hope as “being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness”. Where do I see hope in our global Pandemic? In the struggles of people who are realising their own power to shape their lives and the society around them. In the […]

The Silverburn Suffragettes, and other sources of hope


There’s a common refrain at the moment in the UK which goes along the lines of ‘no one can predict what is going to happen’, or ‘there is a lot of unknowns’. That is only partly true. The thing about a global crisis of this nature is that it may be very fast, but it […]

Beware of lockdown passivity


Just before hundreds of thousands across Scotland and the UK cheered on the NHS last night, I had a conversation with a nurse in Glasgow working in the emergency department, i.e. on the COVID-19 frontline. She told me that “colleagues are writing wills and getting life insurance in order”. They’ve still not been tested, though there […]

The real face of Lord Kitchener



There are signs of some positive steps in the Scottish Government’s approach to this crisis which hopefully bode well. The setting up of an independent expert group separate from the UK Government, which will at the moment “supplement” the UK-wide expert advice but could ultimately lead to different policies being taken in Scotland, sounds like […]

The work dilemma