Sat, 27 January 2018
Lesley hotfoots (or is that coldfoots?) it back from the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromso, via Methil, for this week's podcast.
I return tae hame groond frae the less exotic but no less exciting Glasgow, and Celtic Connections.
Lesley's plea for the Scottish establishment to turn on to what a great city Dundee is kicks us off. Unsurprisingly I'm with her all the way but are we Dundonians our own worst enemies?
Cooperation was the buzzword with the delegates in Tromso, but have the Icelanders upstaged their Scandinavian cousins with their Arctic Circles forum in Helsinki staged at their brilliantly bonkers conference centre?
And what can Scotland learn about developing our towns and cities outwith the Glasgow Edinburgh axis from the Norwegian experience?
Lesley's photos of her visit to an amazing outdoor kindergarten in Tromso really caught my attention and I'm stunned and impressed, once again, by just how right Norway seems to have got early years education.
Having made the revelation last week that I'd never been to a Burns Supper I try and explain why. This leads me, I've got that kind of mind chums, to the repeal of OBFA, and the nagging suspicion that Labour and the Tories may be playing political games over this.
All the above plus, Lesley talks in Norwegian, I reply in Finnish, and even more Celtic Connections chat.
Thu, 18 January 2018
After some merry badinage Lesley returns to the major issue of land ownership and the rights of tenant farmers.
She examines the complex situation in the Borders on the massive estates of the Duke of Buccleuch and tries to make sense of the conflicting perspectives of the locals and Buccleuch Estates. Lesley also reflects on the potential negative impacts of the Scottish Government's benign reforestation policies and the parlous position of tenant farmers who operate under limited partnerships as opposed to secure tenancies.
I, urbanite that I am, contribute little beyond silence for the most part (a blessed relief I hear you cry) until we expand on this specific issue to look at whether big is indeed beautiful.
This leads neatly into the collapse of Carillion, what this says about PFI and big state solutions, and the National Audit Office's report on the economic efficiency of Public Private Partnerships.
No week can pass without Brexit talk and we discuss the European Union Withdrawal Bill amendment votes at Westminster, the sovereignty of Parliaments and those Henry the 8th powers.
Finally, Lesley gives her considered opinion on that Van Morrison album I gave her......
Fri, 12 January 2018
Is this our most controversial podcast? I leave it to you dear listeners to decide as we kick off with our thoughts on the sainted Van the Man.
We move to much safer ground with Lesley's views on Trump as the revelations in Fire and Fury stoke the flames surrounding the Donald.
I muse on the "Oprah for 2020" buzz and what it says about the state of the USA .
The failure of the UK government to produce the amendments to Clause 11 of the EU Withdrawal Bill, the potential for a Westminster "power grab", and the, seeming, all party unanimity among Scottish MPs and MSPs is up next. Lesley speculates if this is the dawn of a new realisation, especially for the Scots Tories, of an undermining of not only the Scottish Parliament but of democracy.
I offer my cynical response, not like me....
The recent Cabinet reshuffle and the stooshie over diversity gives me the chance to court more controversy with my perspective on what jot of difference more BEM or women in a Tory Cabinet makes to equality.
We end almost we began with movies and music. However, after Falkirk, nae Dundee United
Fri, 5 January 2018
A guid new year tae yin an aw and welcome to the first podcast of 2018.
We begin by focusing on the winter "crisis" in the NHS and Lesley questions the "SNPbad" coverage across the press and broadcast media. This leads us to speculate not only on this but the softly softly response by the Scottish Government in its seeming failure to compare our NHS with that in England.
Neil Oliver's appointment as President of the National Trust for Scotland has more than annoyed Yes supporters given his stance on Scottish independence.However Lesley argues that there just may be a progressive aspect to it in terms of the role of the Trust and land ownership.Note the "may" chums.
I pitch around the edges on Scotland in Union, Prof Hugh Pennington, creeping NHS privatisation in England, and the Trans Pacific Partnership.
All this plus the usual meanderings.