Ross County’s Footballing Sunset

Last Tuesday, taking in what was Ross County’s final game in the Premiership, the sun was just about to set behind Ben Wyvis as Simon Murray put Dundee ahead in a game that would end up being a draw.  I thought at the time it was a fitting metaphor for our Premiership days being numbered, and here five days on it’s sadly proved to be so. Ross County’s six-year stint in the Premiership is over, and it’s a perfect time to take stock of why — Read more →

Syria: An international imperative

Last night the USA, UK and France launched a joint military operation to strike against President Assad’s regime and the infrastructure suspected of delivering a chemical weapons attack in Douma earlier this week. Public opinion is divided on whether this was the right course of action, especially with Russia’s support of the Syrian Government being a dangerous factor that risks considerable conflict escalation. But, the decision to take these strikes was essentially about whether a Government should be allowed to get away with murdering its — Read more →

Tackling sectarianism in Scottish football

This week in the Scottish Parliament, MSPs voted for the repeal of the 2012 Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.  This law was introduced by the SNP Government against strong opposition, and now that the SNP is a minority government this is the first serious attempt, led by Labour, to reverse the Act. The OBFA, as it’s more snappily known, is widely considered to be a poor piece of legislation.  The goal was to crack down on sectarian and violent behaviour at football games, which reached — Read more →

My Top 40 Songs of 2017

Everyone has their own traditions around Christmas and New Year, and one of my longest-standing ones is to compile a list of my favourite music from the year just gone by. This year’s no different, and this year’s best of 2017 happens to be my 8th attempt at summing together the best tunes from my music library. The list is generally a list of my most played songs, but with some boosts for songs released later in the year and ones I rate more highly.  — Read more →

Scottish Draft Budget 2018-19

Today Scottish Government Finance Minister Derek MacKay unveiled their draft budget for the next fiscal year. By far the most eye-catching of the proposals was the remodelling of income tax, with the standard rate being broken into three bands of 19%, 20% and 21%, and an increase of 1% on the higher and additional rates, bringing them to 41% and 46% respectively. In total, these measures will raise an additional £164 million for the Scottish Government, whilst ensuring that those earning less than £33,000 (which — Read more →