Editorial: Sharing good for the soul? So long as it’s not politics!

The weekly opinion of the Editor on topical events affecting Moray.

Not a bad place to live, is it.
Not a bad place to live, is it!

SINCE LAST WRITING my weekly editorial on insideMoray we have published precisely 46 news and feature stories on the site.

That is just under seven pieces of community news each day, promoting events that have taken place or are about to take place, business news, community news, court news, political news – the wide spectrum that people have come to expect from this source.

What is presented exists because I personally like to write – there are no agendas, there is no grand plan to create a media empire, it’s just news picked up in the main from press releases, snippets pointed our way by readers and Moray-centric stories picked up from other media sources.

Of the 46 offerings made, just seven could be said to have predominantly political content – of these, three were the result of press releases from the SNP, two from Scottish Labour and one with comment from both the Scottish Conservative’s and the SNP.

I have to wonder then why it can be that as editor I get grief over that one article that quoted Scottish Conservative councillor Douglas Ross! Accusations of bias towards the Tory line, an assertion that I am a Tory-leaning journalist.

Most people know me as a former member of the SNP – during my time I’ve also worked (through the Civil Service) for Tory and Labour ministers.

Like most people of my age I have a wide range of experiences on which to draw, I’ve varied my political stance, drawn to whoever I feel is doing a good job on the things that matter to me.  My background is very much working-class Edinburgh, brought up in a traditional Labour stronghold by a Lossie mother and Edinburgh father who only ever voted for the Labour party and had scant respect for any other views.

Yet if anything these days I’m more cynical than ever, holding a mistrust to some degree of all politicians.

So being accused of being a Tory by a couple of vociferous readers is a bit rich – but par for the course, you put the words out there you have to put up with the flak I guess!

We’re not so bad in Moray you know…..

Chatting with a tourist or three at the Seafest in Lossiemouth this weekend I was struck by the view being expressed that Moray has it all.

We don’t of course – but what we do have is a heck of a lot going for us and perhaps we are waking up ourselves to realising that fact.

A lot of people are working hard at promoting Moray as the go-to destination for British tourists – in troubled times when overseas travel has so sadly become very dangerous for British people it is important that we show there are some attractive alternatives.

Already this year we have seen the Spirit of Speyside draw in thousands from around the world, Piping at Forres doing another magnificent job and the same Grant Park venue hosting the Forres Highland Games to fantastic acclaim.

Just over the border from Moray but still very much drawing on the southern portion of our enthusiastic residents was the Grantown-on-Spey 250th anniversary celebrations, while closer to home we’ve seen a magnificent week in Lossiemouth with the town’s Seafest with the legendary Raft Race soon to follow, while the Gala season is upon us also with Hopeman and Burghead boasting fabulous attractions along with many more small communities around the region.

As one tourist told me this weekend “coming to Moray for a summer break did perhaps go out of fashion for a while, it did seem that at times people who lived here wanted to keep it all for themselves.

“I’ve been coming here for a long time and often thought it was in spite of the welcome I got than because of it – but in the last few years there has been a change, maybe people in Moray are realising that sharing is good for the soul.”

You simply cannot argue with that view, can you?