What this blog is for and about

I also offer personally-tailored, individualized English conversation practice (including etiquette) and coaching in writing techniques. Finally, I edit texts such as magazines, business proposals, memorandums, emails so they are presented in English which does not embarrass you or your organization. For further details, please mail me at: language.etiquette@gmail.com

Remember: all pictures can be expanded to full page size by clicking on them.


13 January 2023

 Very encouraging review in an important website today - ThinkScotland: 


Influential people are beginning to wake to the points I am making.

For more infor, see here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BPVLR9ND?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

29 December 2022

Amazing new short video....

 Try this, for size: Short short 02 - Starkey on Sturgeon and Brexit (2022) - YouTube

Fascinating on the difference between England and Scotland in relation both to Nicola Sturgeon and to Brexit.

22 December 2022


New book about Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Parliament


Surprisingly, this is only the second biography of Nicola Sturgeon ever published. The last one came out in 2015, and so has been overtaken by events. More importantly, this book is founded almost exclusively on what the First Minister said in parliament. It is not a collection of media stories, nor a bloodless academic “assessment”. It is the unarguable truth of what the First Minster thought when she was a junior MSP – sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, sometimes hopeful, but always interesting, accurate and fully referenced. Later volumes will cover her later career in parliament.

This book is also interesting an example of a new genre – the citizen’s biography.  That in itself is original. It represents a move away from the traditional focus on “opinion formers” to actual, real-life opinion holders—that is you and me. The new approach makes the reader part of a horizontal conversation, rather than the vertical one we are accustomed to – being told what to think by politicians, journalists or others with an axe to grind, a policy to sell or another brain to wash. This book presents Nicola Sturgeon as she presented herself to parliament. There can be no arguing with that. YOU are in charge of the interpretation.

Ian Mitchell’s Nicola Sturgeon, published last Tuesday, provides a meticulously referenced account of one woman’s performance in the new Scottish parliament. It is also a history of that parliament. It offers the best possible introduction to the “top table” realities of political life in devolved Scotland. It will be essential reading for anyone concerned by the direction Scottish politics is taking today. It is likely to become the standard work on this woman, this parliament and this period.

Scotland’s leading constitutional authority, Alan Page, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, University of Dundee and author of Constitutional Law of Scotland, has commented:


“This is a citizen’s biography not just of the current First Minister but also of the Parliament of which she has been a member since it was first elected in 1999. While some of the language and ideas may be new and unfamiliar, Ian Mitchell’s biography deserves reading by all those who care about Scotland’s political and constitutional future.”


Perfect reading for the holidays, if you want to step back from events a bit and give some thought to the wider dilemmas that the whole of Great Britain faces in the near future.

You can order through Amazon here: Nicola Sturgeon, vol. 1 - The Years of Ascent, 1970-2007: A Citizen's Biography of a Driven Woman in a Drifting Parliament


10 June 2022

Confucian economics

 Interesting film about how Confucian economics worked in China, based on this excellent book by a Chinese American.

Highly recommend it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM0stx4fuYI

06 April 2022

Why Putin should not be Queen as well as Prime Minister at the same time

 A very interesting article (though I say so as shouldn't) about the CONSTITUTIONAL position of Putin, and why that makes war more likely. Russia needs a Tsar who is NOT involved in politics.



18 March 2022

Putin - Scotland and nuclear weapons

Thought this might be of interest to you all:



21 October 2021

Murder of a member of Parliament

 An important dimension to the murder of Sir Derek Amess is discussed in this article (about the position in Scotland):

CSM 05 - Amess and no Scottish surgeries


30 September 2021

The AUKUS deal and the rule of law

 A must read on Scotland's delicate position in the emerging global architecture, as dictate by English-speaking countries' responses to China's attempt to destroy the rule of law internationally:

CapX 05 - China, the Arctic and Trident