UKIP and the SNP, Culture, Poverty and Arctic Convoy Heroes

UKIP’s recent election results stirred things up down in England. Lesley was keen to point out the differences between UKIP and the SNP after parallels had been drawn in her Scotsman column.

After an event “Who Runs Culture in Scotland?” in the Tron with a packed panel, including Alasdair Gray, the answer is a bit clearer.

The ‘Poverty in South Lanarkshire’ conference and some biological explanations from the Chief Medical Officer prompt some out loud thinking.

The long overdue recognition of the Arctic Convoy  heroes  is something we also touch upon respectfully  in this week’s @lesleyriddoch podcast.

COSLA, Bedroom Tax, the Clash of Titans and Comrie Conversations

Lesley chaired sessions at the 2013 COSLA  Conference in St Andrews. She reports back from a conference where the architect of the ‘Bedroom Tax’, Lord Freud delivered a presentation. It was a tense session as Lesley recounts.  Lesley later chaired a session where Nicola Sturgeon ‘debated’ with Alistair Darling.  She also outlines some of the protocols which surrounded this ‘first’ clash of the ‘Leaders’ of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Shades of ‘Kennedy and Nixon’.  However, Lesley does gives a broader perspective to a number of the ‘community’ related initiatives that Local Authorities are facing up to.

Finally, Lesley and Andy Wightman were invited to take part in a ‘Comrie Conversation’; a community which came together to talk about ‘independence’ at the grassroots. You’ll be surprised at the links in topics between COSLA and Comrie.

Finally, in response to questions, you can subscribe to the Lesley Riddoch podcast directly, at no cost, at iTunes via this link or search for the podcast under ‘Feisty Productions’ on the iTunes Store. ( We would like some ratings too – hint hint. )

You can also download the podcast here and the player below will deliver the audio to your device.

Thanks again for listening – if you don’t like it – tell us – if you do then tell your friends.

Trident and then some other cheery topics

This week's podcast tries to make sense of the latest signals about Trident and then  takes a sideways look at Burns Suppers. It then touches briefly on the Byre Theatre and offers some thoughts on the Celtic Connections celebration of Michael Marra.  We try to remain upbeat and facing forward with a confident half smile playing around our collective lips. And not just for this week.


Just Iceland this week in the @Lesleyriddoch podcast

Lesley spent some time in Reykjavik getting out and about seeing and meeting people. As ever, everyone here has an opinion to what is going in Iceland. And Icelanders have opinions they were happy to share. This is a short podcast which reflects some of those opinions touching on the arts, the bankers and their Oscar entry.

There will be a longer multimedia slide show with the thoughts of our travellers within the next week. Watch out for the Reykjavik Rap.



The first @lesleyriddoch Podcast of 2013 ...very Borgen

This week's podcast, the first of 2013, finds Lesley explaining the attraction of 'Borgen'.It's a surprise hit from Denmark that doesn't rely on grisly murders and car chases to capture the attention of its audience. Chris seems to be waiting until the Jackie Chan cameo before he jumps in.

Equally, as MSPs are set to review how to reduce the high rate of teenage pregnancy; the topic is a continuing source of concern. The numbers are not reassuring.

And then there is the economy and this is the part of the Podcast where... it all gets, well, ...spirited.

The Lesley Riddoch Podcast is back ...between rants and opinions, it promises to be an interesting 2013!


A Sideways Look at 2012

It is the last podcast of the year and we are struggling to get everything in it. Topics touched upon include; the Creative Scotland  implosion, the Olympics, the 'Donald', the economy and obviously the latest phase of the independence debate.

It is also important to say in a seasonal spirit of giving; there are lots of interesting Lesley Riddoch programmes, interviews, curios and podcasts to be found over at the iTunes store. You can even subscribe free here and get this 'weekly' podcast delivered to you directly.

Thanks again for all the support in 2012 and all the best for 2013!


Newtown, Barroso and You English?

It is a difficult Lesley Riddoch Podcast this week. After the tragic events in Connecticut, everyone has an unique take on the underlying causes and the consequent 'fixes'. Surprisingly enough, Michael Moore, amongst others,  has not been slow or shy in coming forward. After heartfelt sympathy for the innocent victims and their loved ones, we are all struggling with the need to do 'something' .

Equally, the 'Barroso effect' is still rumbling along in the Scotland-EU debate- is it really one opinion or something else? And finally, Alasdair Gray seems to have touched a very raw nerve with both Scots and English. As ever, Lesley is unafraid to walk right up to the issues.



The Mojo, Minimum Pricing and Scotland Tonight Podcast

This weeks's podcast was a roll and tumble around the hiatus which seems to developed, now we are past the first independence consultation and the local council elections.  Prompted by an excellent blog from 'burdzeyeview' , we plunged into mojo speculation and reflected on the arrival of minimum pricing of alcohol. It was a bright idea which started 5 years ago. Lesley also reflects on some of the time she has spent recently on sofas in television studios...notably Scotland Tonight. She also poses an interesting question. 'Why does television think no one in Inverness has an opinion about the referendum?'. This week , all this and more, in the Lesley Riddoch Podcast.

Finnish Lessons - the podcast

The Nordic Horizons had a meeting in the Scottish Parliament on the subject of Finnish education with a couple of distinguished speakers on the subject.  It was excellent and everyone commented it was inspiring, interesting and challenging. The plan was to record the meeting for your listening pleasure. Sadly, there was a technical problem. So, we did the next best thing and devoted this week's Lesley Riddoch Podcast to a report on the meeting. Detailed notes of the speakers;  Pasi Sahlberg and Donald Christie are available on the website. Photos of the meeting are posted on the Nordic Horizons Facebook page - do join. Powerpoint slides from the presentations will be made available shortly. Enjoy the podcast.