IF I had one New Year wish, what would it be? Surely a wish for heathy year for one and all. After the Covid years, that’s probably the best for bringing about some positive change. Maybe the various sectors – night-time industry, the indispensable Scottish NHS, tourism, Scotland as a whole – would have time to consolidate and move on. Oh, hang about, what about my burning wish for independence? That’s the one, the one wish I’d make for the New Year, independence. No doubt, is there?

But wait a sec. With that increase due in fuel prices, and as much as an average of £1200 being quoted as impacting across the UK, perhaps a wish for a price-hike relief would be best. After all both him-indoors and myself are golden oldies and inflation also seems to be on the rise.

Hang on. I’m really conflicted now. I’ve just remembered Priti Patel, Home Secretary. Implementing Tory ideology as zealously as she does, the nasty party in overdrive, Ms Patel has overseen a rule change, Brexit initiated, naturally, that could see two million EU citizens living in Britain stripped of their right to work, or even face deportation.

What a crazed place the UK is now with reserved areas including immigration under Tory government control. So a wish for an election and the removal of the Tories, to be replace by light blue Labour? Naw, even I recognise that as wasted.

How could I have forgotten climate change, remembering COP26, floods in Germany, the horrors of the Australian fires? Can I park climate change for a wee while, downgrade it on my list? I know deep down, Greta Thunberg wouldn’t agree. (I’ve tried to work a flanker there: My one wish is now a wish list. You never know, it might work) Oh dear, now I’m suffering from a conscience pang, and it’s all the fault of Gordon Brown. Bit unexpected for sure, but it’s the business of world wide access to vaccinations and inoculations.

Is it true that the UK helped block the making of vaccines in developing countries, forcing them to import from first-world countries, us included, thus preventing the growth of medicinal manufacturing in many parts of the developing world?

Let’s not forget, that as recent as 2014 the brilliant Arch, Desmond Tutu, was quoted as saying: “We live in a world dominated by greed. We have allowed the interests of capital to outweigh the interests of human beings and our Earth.” He knew the evils of capitalism coupled with colonialism first-hand. Great man, RIP. That means then there’s so many “wishes” I’d like to wish.

But is “wishing” sufficient? Will it get me where I want to be? Good job I’m not a politician structuring, restructuring, and then re prioritising my priorities as circumstances change. I’ve got to admit it, I’m stumped.

So I’m staying with my greatest wish, the wish for independence. But now it’s coupled to the realisation I’ve got to do more than wish. I can’t solve everything at once, wished or otherwise, but independence is the opening that will being greater change.

My wish must be that 2022 sees us all – politicians, individuals, communities – move to action: acting with one outcome in mind, independence. What flows from that, how we govern ourselves, republic or monarch, even rejoining the EU, decisions will be made by us in our own independent nation.

Debates, discussions, papers: defence, monetary policy, borders, fine, bring it on! Let’s up the ante with actions. Wishing for it, won’t achieve independence, actions will.

Selma Rahman


YET another Old Etonian, this time Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who has trod on something rather unpleasant and then put his foot in his mouth!

It really pains me to know that parents in general spend exorbitant amounts of money to have their sons poorly educated at what is supposed to be a very expensive private high school/boarding school. Naturally those same parents tend to send their offspring to private prep schools as well, which is just a fancy way of referring to a primary school!

You would assume that if parents are going to spend such astronomical sums of money on a child’s education, then they would ensure that the teachers would have some understanding and knowledge of teaching a class of unloved children entrusted to their care.

However, from the gaffs and uneducated remarks made by some of these Old Etonians, all they learned at their posh school was how to put their big foot in their equally big mouth, publicly of course!

I’m sure now that Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has shown the true Eton spirit, his boss, Boris Johnson, another old boy from that school, will elevate him to the House of Lord’s at the earliest opportunity, where no doubt he’ll be in good company with some other Old Etonians!

By the way Sir Geoffrey, as King James VI of Scotland inherited England, does that mean England is a vassal state of Scotland? After all we are the premier kingdom of the United Kingdom!

Alexander Potts


THE idea that an MP can say or state any idiotic nonsense when it applies to any part (for now) of Britain because they themselves are English, should be stopped. It seems to me to happen on a regular basis and is obviously an irritant( headlines).

With the idea of putting a stop to it might I suggest that all of our unelected members in the House of Lords, regardless of their politics, come together to propose a permanent censure on anyone committing similar offences. It might even improve the general behaviour in the Commons.

While it might not be apparent that this group of people contribute a great deal to our wellbeing, it would give them something to do in the one or two days that they are there – and we (the public that is) might even start to see them in a different light and start to expect little functions like the above from them. Time study might be something else they could look at.

James Ahern

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