Inversnecky

For a little over four years, I led a secret double life. I ran, unknown to anyone, the local news satire site “Inversnecky“. Basically something like The Onion or The Daily Mash but for Inverness, it was a satirical look at local news, giving more than the occasional ribbing to those responsible for the city…

Nearing the facts on the West Link

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll be aware of a couple of posts I wrote a while back on the issue of the completion of the Inverness west link.  I’ll not bore you with the full details here (the posts themselves should be an adequate backstory), but just want to quickly summarise…

Scotland’s council elections

I voted today in the local council elections.  Being something of a politics and electoral systems geek, I always enjoy voting. Especially when it is the Single Transferable Vote, introduced for Scottish councils in 2007. STV is by far my favourite electoral system, because it is roughly proportional, it gives you multiple representatives (a good…

Ormond Castle

Ormond Castle

In another piece of local history I knew nothing about until I visited its site, here are some photos from Ormond Castle, which I walked around the other weekend. It’s not really a castle any more – in fact, not even “not really”, more “not at all”.  It’s just a hill, flat at the top,…

Update on the West Link

I blogged nearly a month ago about the terrible decision being put to Highland Council to drive the final part of the western end of Inverness’s bypass through a lovely park.  As you’ll read in that post, I’d written to my four local councillors, the city’s provost and my MSP about some of the issues…

The Syrians of Slovenia

The first time I met him, it was barely minutes after arriving in the Slovenian coastal resort of Koper.  It was September 2001. We were fresh off the bus, from Ljubljana if I recall correctly.  While Niall watched the bags I was despatched into town to suss out our intended accommodation options. I must have…

The Iron Lady

Such was the long shadow cast over the 1980s in the UK by the government of the time, that when I was growing up as a boy I thought the purpose of General Elections was to decide who would form the Conservative Party. Their impact on the country was embodied and dominated by the Prime…

The Killing, without the killing

It’s a sad symptom of our age that we are cynical about our politicians.  Regardless of the fact that there are genuinely “good eggs” across most parties, such rarities are ignored amongst the wave of hostility we have towards our political class.  They are all, we think, self-serving liars, detached from the needs of ordinary…

Forth Bridge

Going off the rails?

You may have read a wee while back about the Scottish Government’s consultation on rail services in Scotland beyond 2014. When launched, it made a few headlines because of eye-catching questions like whether alcohol should be banned from trains or whether the sleeper service and daytime cross-border journeys between the north of Scotland and England…

A not very dynamic argument

The independence referendum is scheduled, according to the Scottish Government, for the second half of the current parliamentary term. This will mean it will probably be in 2014 or 2015. It sounds like a long way away, but we can expect its influence to beat regularly throughout politics between now and then, and I daresay…