21.11.19

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a parliamentary reception on behalf of the British Ports Association and UK Chamber of Shipping. Once again, the event, now in its tenth year, saw the Garden Lobby at Holyrood packed with representatives from across the maritime sector as well as MSPs from all parts of the country.

Read more

14.11.19

The act of remembrance has always struck me as something deeply personal. As much was we might do it collectively within our communities, gathering each year on Remembrance Sunday to remember those who lost their lives in conflict, we are nevertheless lost in our own thoughts.

Read more

31.10.19

Over the October break, I found myself sitting in a small bar in the southern French town of Vidauban, watching France let victory in the Quarter Final of the Rugby World Cup slip from their grasp against a tenacious, if somewhat fortunate, Welsh side. Seeing the agony etched on the faces of those around me felt uncomfortable.

Read more

Orcadian Column 10.10.19

It is good, every now and again, to take yourself out of your comfort zone. In doing so, however, you may consider it prudent at least to remain within the same hemisphere as your comfort zone.

Read more

26.09.19

You will be delighted to hear that I came through my first dance lesson with Scottish Ballet largely unscathed. The reputation of our national ballet company may have fared less well from the association with my dubious dancing skills.

Read more

12.09.19

It says much about our politics at present that Beatrice Wishart can be elected as Shetland’s MSP on 29 August but, by the time she is formally ‘sworn in’ a week later, she is merely the third newest Liberal Democrat parliamentarian. After the defections of MPs, Phillip Lee and Luciana Berger to the Liberal Democrat cause, Angela Smith’s arrival over the weekend means that, as Beatrice rises to give her maiden speech in Holyrood this week, she may be clinging to her top five spot on the ‘newbies’ list.

Read more

29.08.19

Rewriting history can be a political art form. It is amazing how often and quickly it happens, and how effective it can be, particularly if you have the ‘megaphone’ and muscle of government office at your disposal.

Read more

15.08.19

At a time of rising sea levels, the low-lying island of Sanday confounded climate science last weekend by sitting a few inches higher in the water as the entire population headed off to the Picky for the Parish Cup final.

Read more

01.08.19

Promises, promises. Nothing is so easy in politics as the making of promises. Much more difficult, of course, is the act of delivering; something the newly-installed Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is about to discover.

Read more

18.07.19

You know you’ve achieved a level of standing in the local community when you are invited to discharge a firearm over the heads of a crowd. It may just have been the starting pistol for the Burray Regatta and Raft Race, but that does not diminish the significance of the responsibility placed on my shoulders by the organisers of another highly successful day of sailing out on Water Sound.

Read more

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.