Orcadian Column, 21 October 2021

There’s a compelling argument for saying that accessibility and approachability are the two most important qualities in any elected representative at any level. They are not enough, of course, but without these particular attributes it’s hard to see how someone can hope to represent those they are elected to serve.

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Orcadian Column, 07 September 2021

I have a sneaky feeling that Orkney holds a special place in the Queen’s affections. This hunch first took hold back in 2007, when I was introduced to her Majesty at a Holyrood Palace reception held for MSPs following the Scottish Parliament elections that year. “Oooh Orkney,” she exclaimed as Tamsin and I were presented to her.

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Orcadian Column, 24 September 2021

“People should think twice about phoning for an ambulance,” declared Humza Yousaf last week. What the Health Secretary’s message lacked in subtly it made up for in clarity – just not in a good way.

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Orcadian Column, 09 September 2021

After months of humming and hawing; nods and winks; rumours about ‘will she, won’t she’, Nicola Sturgeon finally confirmed last week her intention to introduce domestic vaccine passports in Scotland.

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Orcadian Column, 24 August 2021

Orcadian Column, 22 July 2021

It takes a rare talent to get injured simply watching a football match, but this is what I managed to achieve last week as Sanday’s Parish Cup ambitions were dealt a mortal blow by Holm.

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Orcadian Column, 6 July 2021

Orcadian Column, 22 June 2021

Being applauded from the pitch during a match against Westray is dreamland territory for any Sanday footballer. As I found on Sunday, however, when you’re strapped to a stretcher and the clapping is more in sympathy, those dreams rather turn to ashes.

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Orcadian Column, 8 June 2021

These days, the mere thought of having to sit exams again is enough to bring me out in cold sweats. By and large I did fine at school and university, but the run up to exam time was always enormously stressful and the aftermath a blessed relief.

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For roughly five minutes last Friday, thanks to the efficiency of the count operation in Orkney, I commanded a ‘supermajority’ in the Scottish Parliament. A string of SNP wins elsewhere soon turned the tables, but for much of the afternoon I was THE official opposition.

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