The year ahead has the potential to be one of the most significant in Scotland’s recent history. I believe that it will be a year in which a new Scotland continues to emerge – an emboldened, more confident and more assertive nation.
Nepotism is known to be common in politics.
But we could see it particularly clearly last week when right-wing commentator Toby Young was given a position with the UK Government as a board member of a new universities regulator.
Happy New Year! As you read this - maybe like me - you are thinking about some New Year's resolutions. In politics, politicians make resolutions all the time.
This year we opened the tallest bridge in the UK, delivered 22,000 baby boxes and seen more students gain a place at Scottish universities than ever before.
The past 12 months have seen continued Westminster cuts and the damaging impact of a Tory Brexit - but the SNP has chosen a different path and delivered for everyone in Scotland.
On my way to parliament this morning I heard a report on the radio that the number of calls to Childline had increased last Christmas; now the charity claims that there is a positive way to look at this as it shows that more children are aware of the service and feel like it’s reassuring that children know they have someone to talk to.
Communities across Scotland, particular in our rural areas, are rightly concerned about the impact the decision by RBS to close branches, including in some cases the last branch in the community, will have on local businesses, employees, the elderly and vulnerable and all those who need access to banking services.