I had begun writing the song, Death Row, in September 2011. The week that I had started to write it, Troy Davis was executed in Georgia after almost 20 years on death row. I was struck by the horrific nature of his sentencing. I believe that the death penalty is wrong in all circumstances, but Troy Davis's case was particularly chilling. After his initial trial, witnesses had admitted that they had lied in their evidence against him.
Scottish politics has not, thus far, swung towards the scapegoating UKIP and BNP politics of hatred. We should be asking why Murray, Smart and even McConnell and Murphy seem to wish it to do so?
As I sit typing on my laptop, I'm aware of an irresistible urge: to check my emails; check social networking sites; check whether there's been any update since I last checked five minutes ago! The thing is, I'm not crazy about technology, but if you're anything like me, you'll know it's easier said than done escaping it.
Independence is a simple thing really. The ability to do as one pleases without outside interference. True, no country is truly independent in today's globalized world. But it is fallacious for Salmond is lead a vanguard suggesting independence would bring radical change to Scotland.
Now is the time for the Labour party to create a new discourse and move away from "the Reagan and Thatcher settlement" Ed Miliband knows that he cannot sit back and watch the Coalition unravel, but if he is to win the next election, he has to set out moral and ideological terms for the future of the party.
The truth is that a new national currency would be an entirely unappealing prospect, but the options outside of that scenario are hardly appealing either. It's going to be one of the key issues that the people of Scotland will have to think hard about, before the big vote in 2014.
Bringing adventure to the Scottish Borders, the Muckle Toon Adventure Festival is aiming to help revive the small town of Langholm. View image Ment...
Just over a week on from the triumphant foray on George Square, Glasgow's anti-'bedroom tax' armada finds itself in uncharted waters and surrounded by an impenetrable fog through which lies the possibility of evictions, legal and physical challenges to the law and drastic socio-industrial action in the community.
So we must learn the lessons from her time, not just eulogize or damn her. There are right ways and wrong ways of conducting affairs which can only be discovered through discipline, rigorous thought, honest competition and hard work.
She was horribly, horribly right wing and I find it difficult to forgive her that. Despite believing in the policies she implemented (the woman really thought she was doing good) I look at the society we have today and I can see the scars her policies left behind. Enormous social immobility and a lack of political empathy.
With protest marches against the 'bedroom tax' just a day away, the Glasgow campaign has gained seemingly inexorable focus and momentum.
Given Fletcher's importance, it's not particularly good news for the Black Cats, even without taking into consideration that they're sitting just four points above the drop-zone, have won just two league games since the start of the year, are currently are without a win in seven matches and their next four fixtures include Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton.
As the debate in Scotland rumbles on the SNP and the wider YES campaign are promoting the message that the only way to get change is to vote YES, and that the union is stubborn and impossible to reform without splitting it in its entirety. It's a widespread view, and it usually only takes a few minutes of debating devolution in cyber space before someone gives you the 'jam tomorrow' line, but is it really true?
The popularity of the women's game has grown remarkably over the past 10 years, demonstrating a change in attitude and culture around the female version of the game. This is backed up by findings revealed this month that shows the number of registered girls' football teams has grown in the past decade by 15% in England.
Judging by the packed out audiences that have been turning out to hear him speak as the bedroom tax fast approaches, Sheridan's return to active politics in Scotland is not only welcome, it is long overdue.
Scotland wants to be the best small country in the world for children to grow up in. It's a great aspiration to set but as new figures show an increase in the number of children on child protection registers, with more than half under the age of five - is Scotland getting any closer to giving its children the very best start in life?