Latest Blog Posts

Official interference

Posted on: 7 July 2017

There was an interesting exclusive in The Times this morning which revealed Audit Scotland had been put under pressure to tone down the "alarmist" tone of its report last year on

Education committee will look at colleges

Posted on: 1 February 2017

Today's Education and Skills Committee meeting may have only been a little over eight minutes long but it w

Scottish Health Council - the "toothless hamster"

Posted on: 27 January 2017

The Scottish Health Council had a torrid time in front of MSPs this week.

Reluctant support for council tax changes

Posted on: 4 November 2016

MSPs yesterday voted through the Scottish Government's plans to increase council tax on bands E-H from April 2017 yesterday.

It's about the money - Audit Scotland and the NHS

Posted on: 28 October 2016

Opposition parties understandably jumped the on the latest Audit Scotland report on the NHS in Scotland, wh

Improvements or cuts? Restructuring of the NHS can't be done on the cheap

Posted on: 30 September 2016

The SNP lost its second vote in the chamber since losing its overall majority this week.

Mental health's waiting game

Posted on: 9 September 2016

News this week that 934 children had contacted Childline last year because they were contemplating suicide was sobering, t

Teachers say they need more than curricular guidance

Posted on: 31 August 2016

Today sees the first meeting of the Scottish Government's 

Edinburgh College cannot be allowed to fail

Posted on: 27 July 2016

Edinburgh College - credit Jisc

Parents excluded from probes into baby deaths

Posted on: 10 June 2016

Too many NHS investigations into baby deaths or brain damage are of ‘poor quality’, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has warned.

Cuts to local hospitals are cuts, not consolidation

Posted on: 29 April 2016

No matter how much health boards try and stay out of elections, even a hint of a hospital closure does tend to feature heavily in them.

RCN gives Scottish Tory plan for health visitors a lukewarm response

Posted on: 15 April 2016

Apart from the Scottish Conservatives seeking to underline their commitment to a publicly-owned NHS, health has been largely been out of the limelight in this election campaign so far, which is unu

Does SNP 'creeping privatisation' claim add up?

Posted on: 4 March 2016

Today the Scottish Conservatives hold their spring conference in Edinburgh, and there's something familiar about the war of words. 

Kezia Dugdale on the tension between climate change and oil extraction

Posted on: 3 March 2016

Can you claim to oppose climate change while aiming to extract every last drop of oil from the North Sea?

Time to tax sugar? A momentum grows

Posted on: 22 January 2016

The main story this week is the unexpected explicitness behind Food Standards Scotland's recommendations to the Scottish Government.

Education bill amended in Dunfermline

Posted on: 9 December 2015

The Education and Culture Committee had two meetings this week, the first of which took place in Dunfermline city chambers

University governance: devil is in the detail

Posted on: 11 November 2015

Finally it seems we are moving onto a new, more productive, phase in the Scottish Government’s ambitious

Outrage as minister 'talks out' cheap drugs bill

Posted on: 6 November 2015

The UK Government was faced with outrage from backbenchers today as it killed today's debate on the Off Patent Drugs Bill at Westminster.

Skills Development Scotland defends its value

Posted on: 4 November 2015

The last body to be scrutinised by the Education and Culture Committee’s examination of relevant public bodies was Skills Development Scotland.

Alcohol licensing 'increasingly complex'

Posted on: 29 October 2015

This week saw Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson’s Alcohol Bill get its second evidence session in front of the Health and Sport Committee.

Ten-year view

Posted on: 7 October 2015

This week saw the publication of the 10-year report of the Growing up in Scotland study.

Mental health up the agenda

Posted on: 18 September 2015

"Let's take action and change lives" said See Me's Judith Robertson at the organisation's parliamentary reception last night.

Are council education debts to rise?

Posted on: 29 July 2015

The legacy of PFI continues.

Uncomfortable reading for NHS chiefs

Posted on: 10 July 2015

“These are hard-hitting recommendations and will make uncomfortable reading for many managers and leaders in our health service,” said Royal College of Nursing Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe in re

Education bill: half-baked or purposeful?

Posted on: 24 June 2015

To say the new Education Bill hasn’t set the heather alight is to understate the level of criticism levelled at the draft legislation in recent weeks.

Should Scottish homes have sprinkler systems?

Posted on: 5 June 2015

It is incomprensible that someone, somewhere inside the Scottish Parliament didn’t realise the irony.

Importance of BSL not falling on deaf ears

Posted on: 3 June 2015

A recent editorial in the Herald suggested Mark Griffin’s British Sign Language Bill is not the kind of legislation to “capture the imagination”, but judging by yesterday’s Stage 2 procee

Analysis: Early release changes

Posted on: 22 May 2015

Members of the Justice Committee will return to the Prisoners (Control of Release) (Scotland) Bill next week following the Scottish Government’s amendments at Stage 2.

What does the general election mean for energy?

Posted on: 1 May 2015

Welcome to another general election themed briefing.

What does each party's policy mean for the environment?

Posted on: 24 April 2015

I decided that, with the general election so close, it might be helpful to take a look at what each party’s policy means for the environment.