"A catalyst for investment, enabling people to take up new opportunities." The words of Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, praising a recent study into the continuing impact of the Borders Railway, now in its third year of operation.
The Borders Railway Blueprint Group study found that the Edinburgh to Tweedbank line, which opened in September 2015, has provided jobs and investment opportunities. Travel on the line is increasing, and it has prevented an estimated 36,000 annual car journeys.
Sometimes we never truly understand the value of something until we have lost it. With so much progress under threat from Brexit, I’m on a mission to understand the progress Europe has delivered and how we can preserve hard won rights and protections.
With exceptional timing, Storm Aileen breezed into Scotland on Wednesday - National Cycle to Work Day. I dared myself to cycle all the way to the Scottish Parliament from home in Stirlingshire and managed the 48 miles in a little over 3 hours. Given I'm middle aged, average fitness and borderline overweight, cycling even a couple of miles to work is still worth a go and not beyond what most people can do with the right support and facilities from their employer.
“The psychological message is that the train has left the station. The signal sent to investors, businesses, individuals and civil society is extraordinarily powerful.”
Scotland should be inspired by these words, from former US vice president Al Gore. At the launch earlier this month of his new film on climate change, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the Nobel prize-winner said that the current occupant of the White House is isolated and unable to prevent global action on climate change.
Gandhi once said that ‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’
This quote has shone down the decades and even in times of bigger political questions, the needs of the smallest, voiceless creatures provide a reflection of our values and how we carry ourselves.
Since devolution there have been key moments where that reflection has taken place. The ban on fox hunting with dogs and the foot and mouth disease crisis caused us to think hard about our relationship and responsibilities to the animal world.
The Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse, today delivered a ministerial statement on Unconventional Oil and Gas.
The statement said nothing we didn’t already know. What remains clear is that the current moratorium on fracking in Scotland does not go far enough. The Scottish Government have so far refused to commit to a ban nor have they said whether they will go ahead with it.
For over three years Scottish Green MSPs have built the case against fracking in Parliament. We are now very close to winning this campaign and banning fracking for good.
The sight of the Scottish Defence League on the streets of Alloa was a shameful betrayal by the tiny band of local thugs who invited them in. In contrast communities across Clacks should be proud of their response to the refugee crisis, welcoming families fleeing the most unimaginable suffering and heartbreak. Blaming the poverty in our own communities on those who have lost everything is a betrayal of our humanity and can only survive on ignorance.