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I’M writing these words in the afternoon sun as I head back from the Scottish Parliament after my last day reporting at Holyrood for the Star.
I won’t be going far — but it’s goodbye to the enduring thrill every journalist feels on seeing their byline in print.
Fittingly, my final Morning Star minibreak will be in aid of the same cause as my first — the TUC Congress, which begins in Brighton on Sunday.
Hopefully it won’t be followed, as my first TUC trip was back in 2014, by emergency kidney surgery and three months of houseboundness. As Tears for Fears once sang, these are the things I can do without.
After my return to William Rust House early the following year, I went on to cover two general elections and far more seaside trade union conferences than my troubled kidney would have appreciated.
Three-and-a-half years later, I moved to Glasgow to oversee the Star’s expansion in Scotland. Since then, we’ve had exclusives from Holyrood, sporadic Scottish editions, our first political conference fringe events in recent years, and of course this column.
I’ve been called “a liar and a smear merchant,” and former Labour former MP Tom Harris was aghast that “the f***ing Morning f***ing Star” was distributed at this year’s Scottish Labour conference.
We’re not yet out of the woods of course — rebuilding circulation in an era of falling print sales across the board is a monumental challenge.
But the Star is undoubtedly packing a greater punch north of the border than ever in the past decade.
Thanks are particularly due to comrades in the trade unions, on the paper’s Scottish Campaign Committee and at Morning Star HQ.
Onwards and upwards. And don’t be Left without us.
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