Baggsying the front seats upstairs on a double decker bus was as close as me and my pals ever really got to doing politics growing up. As bairns in schemes in the North East of Scotland we had little respect for the rules of civilised society generally, and often even less for those who enforced them, but the rules of baggsy were sacred. The person who sees a desirable opportunity and calls “baggsy!” before anyone else has the fundamental right to that opportunity under this clandestine, unspoken criminal code of honour.

That could mean anything, from baggsy the last bag…


One of my lasting memories from childhood is being around 8 or 9 years old, running out of the house with shampoo in my hair and a towel around my waste, fumbling desperately with the triangular metal key to open the electric meter box (conveniently located on the front wall of the house so that all the neighbours could see) to turn on the emergency credit because the money had run out while I was in the shower. I’d shiver and wriggle to make sure the towel stayed up while wrestling with the various keys and doors, looking very much…


I grew up in assorted rough and wonderful housing schemes in Forfar, just outside of Dundee. My Mum, a nurse who trained during my early years, raised my brother and I effectively as a single parent. I’ve never met my father. My Granda worked his days in the factory that my Grandmother cleaned at nights. At 16, I was politely asked to leave high school and by 17, I was on the brew.

Through various twists and turns (including stints as a musician, in an architect’s office and as a job centre adviser), I fumbled my way through college, onto…

fraser jf stewart

Very cool & handsome applied researcher, making clean energy work for against poverty and inequality. Believer in big ideas. Scheme bairn at heart.

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