Orcadian Column, 21 April 2022

Parliamentary recess provides the ideal opportunity for a spot of ‘island hopping’. So it was that last week I headed first south to Flotta and then north to Westray for surgeries and meetings with local residents. Days spent in the isles are always good for the soul, although Westray was notably quieter than usual due to a spike in Covid cases that had folks understandably wary about venturing out and about.

 

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Orcadian Column, 24 March 2022

Just over 25 years ago, my younger brother, Dugald was injured playing rugby. A tackle that went badly wrong left him paralysed from the shoulders down, overturning his world in an instant. Since then, Dug has rebuilt his life, fiercely defending his independence, overcoming obstacles on a daily basis and retaining his often wicked sense of humour. An inspiration in so many ways.

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Orcadian Column, 10 March 2022

Representing the islands in which I was fortunate to grow up has always been a source of enormous pride for me. I have rarely felt more proud of my community, however, than over the last fortnight as it has sought to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine.

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Orcadian Column, 11 February 2022

Chopping the bottom off classroom doors would be a madcap idea at almost any time, but it seems all the crazier when energy prices are going through the roof.

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Orcadian Column, 27 January 2022

Another week and news of another Downing Street party. This time, it was a ‘surprise’ birthday party for the Prime Minister in June 2020, though in fairness most parties seem to come as a surprise to Boris Johnson. It is alleged that Mr Johnson’s interior designer, Lulu Lytle also attended this illicit gathering, providing a neat crossover between the ‘partygate’ and wallpapergate’ scandals.

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Orcadian Column, 13 January 2022

Happy New Year. As we enter 2022 with Covid restrictions still in place, the hope must be that the peak of this outbreak has been reached and a return to some semblance of normality can be achieved over the coming weeks. Learning to live with the virus will not be without its challenges, but is surely what must now be done.

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Orcadian Column, 16 December 2021

I do wonder how the Blue Door concept would go down on Dragon’s Den. Certainly the spectacle of Rita Jamieson locking horns with the Dragons would have been a ratings triumph to match anything Strictly, I’m a Celebrity or Bake Off could muster.

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Orcadian Column, 02 December 2021

Sitting in the Presiding Officer chair last Wednesday afternoon, I listened in horror as SNP MSP, Michelle Thomson told the Chamber how she was raped as a young girl. With astonishing composure and candour, Michelle went on to explain the devastating effect this had on her at the time and the subsequent difficulties she faced forming healthy relationships.

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Orcadian Column, 18 November 2021

Ahead of Remembrance Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending a dinner at the Royal British Legion in Kirkwall on Friday evening.

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Orcadian Column, 04 November 2021

Sitting in the last chance saloon in Glasgow at one minute to midnight feels like an unsettling place to be, even without the tales of ‘rats as big as cats’ stalking the streets.  And, as the world descends on Glasgow for COP26, the stakes could scarcely by higher, particularly for those in the Global South, least responsible for climate change yet most at risk from its effects.

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