Blog

Tories in office, but not in power

No matter where I go people have been saying to me, what is going on? Along with a few other words that aren’t suitable to print. One thing is now certain – if there was any doubt about the Tory rank incompetence, then the last two weeks have shown it in all in its full-unadulterated...
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Brexit: The deal is done. Just not one that anyone wants.

So, the deal is done. Just not one that anyone wants. After two years of wrangling that’s one thing we can all agree on. But don’t judge this book by its cover. This deal bears no resemblance to the easy promises of the Brexiteers. No resemblance to taking back control of our laws and our...
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“The art of the resignation. You’ve either got it, or you haven’t …”

The art of the resignation. You’ve either got it, or you haven’t. Whether on a point of principle, Machiavellian manoeuvring to depose a wounded leader, or even a bit of both, Tory ministers have been putting a lot of practice in these past few weeks. But for others, the real art is in the “unresignation”. And the undisputed masters...
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Challenge Poverty Week: Cottage and YMCA Christmas Appeals

Fife’s charities are at the frontline dealing with the impact of poverty in our communities – and pressure on their services has increased following the roll-out of Universal Credit. That impact is especially cruel at Christmas which is why the Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy launched a festive appeal back in 2011 to ensure families...
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Challenge Poverty Week: Affordable Lending

The impact of Universal Credit has led to soaring debts. Rent arrears owed by Fife Council tenants have now reached £120,000 a month – money which should be used to build new homes and repair existing council properties. In August a report which went before town councillors confirmed that two thirds of 3060 council tenants in Fife...
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Challenge Poverty Week: Fuel Poverty

We’ve witnessed a dramatic rise in use of food banks across Fife over the past year – and a change in the demographics accessing them. Volunteers report more and more pensioners are coming forward seeking help, because for many elderly residents they face a stark choice between eating and heating over winter. According to the...
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Challenge Poverty Week: Food banks

“When we opened our doors in 2013 we thought we would run for a couple of years until things got better. We thought something would happen … but it hasn’t happened.” Those were the exact words spoken by Joanna Tait, treasurer of Kirkcaldy foodbank, as she made a plea to the local community recently to...
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Poverty Week: Universal Credit

Today (Monday) marks the beginning of Poverty Week – a chance for us all to raise awareness of the impact of poverty in our own communities. I’ve written a series of blogs on various aspects of poverty which I’ll be posting up every day this week. It seems appropriate to start with Universal Credit; the...
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Boundary changes: Tory power grab “could cost us the Union”

Performance coaches in elite sport look for marginal gains, the tiny improvement which will give them the edge over rivals. But in the race for power, the Conservatives have abandoned all pretence about aiming higher. This is about holding on at all costs. For them it’s no longer about marginal gains, but instead about gaining...
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