I was elected Highlands & Islands MSP in 2003. I am a member of the Parliament's Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee as well as the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee. I am also a historian, musician, author and traditional music festival organiser.
Scots, Gaelic and the Traditional Arts are core interests as are nuclear disarmament, affordable housing and saving consultant led services in the NHS.
I was born and educated in Glasgow, and attended Dundee University and Education College. As a former Modern Studies teacher much of my professional life was spent teaching at the Invergordon and Alness Academies as the Principal Teacher of Guidance. Since early retirement, or early ‘relifement’ as I like to call it, I have developed my historical training and skills by writing the book Plaids and Bandanas.
I have been a long time SNP activist and was a former District Councillor in Ross and Cromarty. I joined the SNP in 1966, was FSN President from 1970-1973 and have been a member of the SNP's National Council, Executive, and Cabinet.