For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

Electric Scotland News
First normal newsletter since losing my sight and is improving daily. Still have problems reading the computer screen and typing but getting better/.I haven't been able to add too much this week as I'm still struggling to read the screen and I keep losing the mouse.

I'm going to provide a catch up on the news since Jan 2nd so I can bring things up to date with the Brexit process.

Coravirus is still expanding its reach around the world with Italy and Iran new hot spots to be concerned about. The most consistent advice is to wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 - 30 seconds.

Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as world news stories that can affect Scotland and all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

It's here - now what?
The PM has been vague about the future relationship for one very good reason

Britain between the blocs
How the UK can prosper as a trading nation after Brexit

The Brexit Story, as told by BrexitCentral
It all began for BrexitCentral back in September 2016, less than twelve weeks after the June 2016 referendum at which more people voted for the UK to leave the EU than have ever voted for anyone or anything in British electoral history.

Our divisive NHS
For a unifying institution, Our NHS causes a lot of discord

For the Scottish nationalists, timing is everything
Given her record, it seems absurd that Nicola Sturgeon might resign - but it's not out of the question

Scots should expect ‘rapid rise’ in coronavirus cases in coming days, warns Nicola Sturgeon
Impact of deadly virus in Scotland expected to worsen in coming days

Buccleuch agrees 'historic' Newcastleton land transfer deal
Buccleuch will pass on a sports pitch, golf course and show fields in Newcastleton to a community trust.

Our life, off grid
Deep in the woods, couple reveal their eco-friendly dream home that costs just 5 a week to run

Arts and the Nation' by Alan Riach with Alexander Moffat and John Purser (published by Luath Press)

This is an unusual and quite remarkable book. Its contents all appeared in the Friday edition of a national newspaper between January 2016 and February 2017.

The EU is blind to its own failing tactics
A hostile approach to Brexit negotiations will not do Brussels any favours

Scottish Budget analysis in plainer English
The resignation of finance secretary Derek Mackay overshadowed the fourth budget of this parliamentary term, which has led to a healthy increase in the resources available to the Scottish Government. How does it propose to spend this money?

End of an era: has the SNP lost its supremacy?
The SNP was once the bright promising future of Scotland, but all such periods of political promise come to an end.

The Davos elite have seen the future, but didn't recognize it - it's the U.S.
Last week a friend sent me a summary from the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos, with the heading RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Thought Leadership.

RAF's new submarine hunter plane touches down in Scotland
The first of nine new maritime patrol aircraft for the RAF has arrived at a military base in Scotland after being flown from the United States.

The truth about the humble potato
A staple food for cultures across the globe, the tuber has emerged as a nutritional giant and the friend of peasants, rulers and sages. Even today, its possibilities are endless.

A US trade agreement is within sight
The UK's stated strategic objectives for a US trade agreement are quietly encouraging

England deserves better from Scotland
ONE OF THE MOST PERPLEXING outcomes of the ‘These Islands’ conference (first discussed here on 24 February) was the condescension or impatience displayed towards England.

RAF Lossiemouth control tower could be a world first
An RAF base in Scotland could be set to have the "world's first" military digital air traffic control capability.

UK vows to seek hard bargain in US trade talks
Boris Johnson has promised to drive a hard bargain as he set out the UK's negotiating position for a post-Brexit free trade deal with the US.

Battle lines being drawn over fishing rights
Naval battle lines are being drawn up ahead of talks between the European Union and UK, with fisheries among the most difficult and high profile topics where the two sides diverge

Two leading SNP figures to step down from Holyrood
Two leading figures in the Scottish National Party have announced they will step down as MSPs.

Coronavirus: First case confirmed in Scotland
The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Scotland after a patient was diagnosed having recently travelled from Italy, the government has said.

Bitter truths in Brussels
"Scotland is going to leave on January 31 and, assuming no extension to the transition period, Scotland will be out, out, out by the end of the year."

The cavalry are not coming to save Scotland’s unionists
If Salmond's trial is the key weapon in the unionist armoury, Scotland is already lost

What did Canadians do to deserve this government?
As was recounted by Gary Mason in an exceptionally pompous comment in the Globe and Mail on Monday

The debt-free alternative to university
How to boost skills and reduce student debt in one fell swoop

Statistical test of independence
Scotland needs to reform the way it produces and shares statistics if it is to make a real fist of independence, argues Richard Marsh

Whacking the BBC. Change is coming whether the Corporation likes it or not.
This site is opposed to subscription funding and a decriminalised licence fee. But both will be forced on the BBC if it doesn’t reform.

John Ivison: Canada is turning into a mob city while Trudeau remains silent
Somebody in Ottawa should be pointing out that along with the right to protest there are certain responsibilities to allow other people to go about their business

How the UK can pioneer digital free trade
Joining DEPA would be a signal of the UK’s commitment to an agile trade strategy

The case for the BBC licence fee is based on bad arguments
The BBC licence fee is regressive - it forces the poor to pay the same as the rich to watch any television

Latest circulation figures; new editor-in-chief at the P&J; successful Scots in media, and more
Three of Scotland's leading and best-selling newspapers – the Sunday Post, Daily Record and Sunday Mail – are losing sales on a relentlessly downward spiral.

The Europeans may be our brethren, but the Anglosphere are our kin
Despite being a passionate Leaver, I have a confession to make: for me, Brexit is not really about Britain. This assertion does not always make me very popular among Brexiteer circles, but it lies at the very heart of my belief that it is essential for Britain to leave the European Union.

Scottish Schools' Young Writer of the Year?
The winner: Changshi Tang High School of Dundee

What EU Budget Talks Say About Europe’s Future
As is often the case with the European Union, negotiations over the EU’s next long-term budget have so far produced more meetings and debates than concrete solutions.

Pooling and Sharing: The English Regions
In a few weeks time I'll be chairing a conference in Newcastle - These Islands: Our Past, Present & Future

Deficits, Deficit Gaps and Fiscal Transfers
To understand what is going on when we talk about implied fiscal transfers between different parts of the UK (as discussed here), it's perhaps easiest to think of what happens when we split the bill in a restaurant.

The Scotsman relaunches its website - letter from the Editor
You told us you wanted a faster site, with fewer ads.

Warning over possible cuts to police officer numbers
The number of police officers in Scotland could be cut next year, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has told MSPs.

CANZUK International Interviews Live With CBC News Canada
CEO of CANZUK International, James Skinner, discussed the importance of Brexit for progressing relations between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and the benefits of implementing facilitated migration and trade between the four countries.

UK state debt levels are fine
Some people tell me UK state debt is too high and we need to take tougher and more urgent action to bring it down. I disagree.

Ontario families deserve better than their so-called education system
The renewed agitation by teachers in Ontario highlights the debacle of the whole public teaching and school administration apparatus that is possibly the greatest and most universal public policy failing in modern Western civilization.

We need to make Whitehall fit to run post-Brexit Britain
As Britain prepares to leave European Union, and to disengage with its administration and institutions, there will clearly need to be changes in the way the United Kingdom organises its own governmental structures.

The Auld Alliance hasn't been forgotten
Of all the surprising things I've learned about France since moving here, possibly the most unexpected was this. The French know about the Auld Alliance.

Brexit reflections from Sir John Redwood
Here is the first in our series reflecting on the Brexit process with regular BrexitCentral authors and others who have played an important role in our journey out of the European Union. Here are the answers to our questions from Conservative MP Sir John Redwood.

Electric Canadian

Highroads to Reading - Book 3
A collection of stories (1934) (pdf)

Highroads to Reading - Book 5
A collection of stories (1945) (pdf)

The above two books are for children..

John Crosbie,
Politician and a great man of Canada and Newfoundland and Labador.

Canadian Curmudgeon
This is a column from a Canadian with good knowledge of politics and the Canadian way of life who will be anonymous but will from time to time post commentary on what is happening in Canada. We have the first two articles for you to set the scene.

Electric Scotland

Home Preacher
Added Service 22 by John Caird, D.D. which you can read at:

The Brexit Story
By Brexit Central (Jan (2020) (pdf)

Scottish Society of Louisville
March 2020 Newsletter

Scottish Banner
February 2020

Alan McKenzie, ACIB, FICB, FInstD, FSA Scot, (1936 - 2020)
Obituary and other information.

Scottish Society of Indianapolis
December 2019 Newsletter.

The Story


From Highroads of Reading book 3

A town mouse once upon a time went on a visit to his cousin in the country. This country cousin was rough and ready, but he loved his town friend and made him welcome. Beans and bacon, cheese and bread, were all he had to offer, but he offered them freely.

The town mouse turned up his long nose at this country fare, and said: “ I cannot see, cousin, how you can put up with such poor food as this. But of course you cannot expect anything better in the country. Come with me and I will show you how to live. When you have been in town a week, you will wonder how you could ever have stood a country life.”

No sooner said than done; the two mice set off for the town and arrived at the town mouse’s home late at night. “You will want something to eat after our long journey,” said the polite town mouse; and he took his friend into the grand dining-room. There they found the remains of a fine feast, and soon the two mice were eating jellies and cakes and all that was nice. Suddenly they heard a great growling and barking in the next room.

“What is that?” said the country mouse. “It is only the dogs of the house,” answered the other. “Only dogs!” said the country mouse. “I do not like such music at my dinner.” Just then the door flew open, in came two huge mastiffs, and the two mice had to scamper away as fast as they could.

"Good-bye, cousin,” said the country mouse. “What! going so soon?” said the other. “Yes,” he replied. “ Better beans and bacon in peace than cake and jelly in fear.”


And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend.