I started my career in PR as a Government and NHS press officer before joining the Scottish Parliament in 1999. I spent 10 years at the parliament as a committee clerk, advising on procedure, writing committee reports and eating shortbread. I am now a freelance writer, with a particular interest in democratic engagement and George Clooney.
HeraldScotland analysed Twitter accounts across 10 sectors, broadcasting, sport, fashion and so on, to find the 10 most popular Twitter accounts in each. For the politicians I’m afraid that the numbers weren’t good. Read details here
Rather it might seem that we are conversing across parallel universes where, although we share a common language and are apparently united in a desire to have some kind of meaningful exchange, we are destined to forever miss each other’s point, drifting aimlessly in a sea of monologue disguised as dialogue.
Such conversations usually go something like this:
“Where's the big spanner? Didn’t you put it back in the toolbox?”
“I’m on the laptop.”
“Yes, but have you seen the spanner?”
Just when it felt like we could venture abroad without being accosted about some election or another, the referendum debate has moved up a gear with the formal launch of the "yes" campaign.
It was a right glitzy affair, putting onlookers in mind of the Oscars, the BAFTAs and the Gaiety Whirl at Ayr's famous theatre with Johhny Beattie, he was always my favourite, sorry where was I?
Oh aye, the "yes" campaign, which brings together those who, while their politics may differ, share the goal of an independent Scotland.
Friday’s evidence session with Rebekah Brooks at the Leveson Inquiry will be essential viewing for all future students of journalism.
This is not because of any revelations about her relationship with politicians, nor even because of the startling information that Rupert Murdoch was fond of the X Factor .(I can picture the two of them now, in their jammies, brushing each other’s hair and swooning over Simon.)
I know he is playing a pivotal role in setting a new ethical course for the future of the press in holding the rich and powerful to account and all that, but that is not why I am grateful to him. I am grateful to him for what I have dubbed "The Leveson Defence".
Let me explain. The Leveson Defence is a strategy to be used in any argument when you are put on the spot, in a tight corner, with your back against the wall, perhaps with the ravening hordes descending upon you. Observe.
This non-existent milestone in the referendum period provides an ideal opportunity to assess the performance to date of the Scottish party leaders on the independence question.
How fortunate then that we have been given exclusive access to the secret referendum report cards of Holyrood’s high heid yins…
The First Minister, Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP
After years of playing footsie across several oceans, Holyrood's hottest star, First Minister Alex Salmond, and his media mogul admirer Rupert Murdoch, have gone public with their relationship.
Friends of the A-list pair confirmed that the bromance blossomed in recent weeks after Rupert (107) sent toy-boy Alex a series of flirtatious tweets.
These were quickly reciprocated by the First Minister, with a one-to-one phone call and public letter of support for the launch of the Aussie tycoon's new fragrance. (Sunday newspaper surely? – Ed)
It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair,
This has been a historic week for Scotland, one that historians are already describing in historic terms, and on Wednesday the First Minister, Alex Salmond published the independence referendum consultation that some are calling the most historic in history.
The free world's longest argy bargy session opened in style on Thursday with a debate called by Scottish Labour, whose leader Johann Lamont was at pains to recognise the SNP's mandate on the issue, even as she stuck a fork into her own hand under the desk.
First Minister, the RT Hon Alex Salmond MSP
New Year is a time for taking stock, a time to count our blessings and spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves and who have fallen on hard times. But enough about the Scottish Labour Party.
I prefer to look forward, forward to a time when Scotland will control its own destiny, when, as First Minister of an independent nation, I will have dominion over the economy, defence, social security, the sun, the moon and the tides.
Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, was kind enough to remind Mr Gray that he would now have lots more time for walking the fields of East Lothian, stopping just short of suggesting that he take up basket-weaving or become Parliament milk monitor.
Lib- Dem leader Willie Rennie could only manage to say that Mr Gray had been a great servant of the Parliament before being quite overcome with indifference.
My how we laughed, even as we retreated to the under-stairs cupboard with the cooking sherry and a West Wing box set to await the first signs of spring.
There’s no doubt that the general mood is fairly gloom and doom - so who are we to turn to in our hour of need? Having conducted an entirely proper and scientific survey in the coffee shop the other morning, I can exclusively reveal that Jo Brand, Gary Barlow and the lady detective from “The Killing” are the favourites to lead us out of this godforsaken mess.