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Alf writes, broadcasts and comments on a range of issues affecting Scotland and the wider world. He retired in 2009 from The Herald, where he was responsible for comment and opinion. For 22 years he also wrote his own columns on business, economic and political issues. He currently writes for the online Scottish Review and is a regular contributor to BBC current affairs programmes.

Born and raised in Greenock, the son of a shipyard craftsman, he holds degrees in natural philosophy and education. He has also been awarded honorary degrees by four Scottish universities. Alf started out as a teacher of maths and physics and later as a lecturer in Jordanhill College of Education.

Alf was a member of the group which helped devise the financial arrangements for Scotland’s devolved government. He served on BP’s Scottish advisory board for three years, and, from 2000 to 2007, chaired the Glasgow advisory board of Common Purpose.  At the beginning of 2010 he also became chairman of Social Investment Scotland and s an economic advisor to the Scottish Council.  A season ticket holder at Cappielow, Alf is to be found at most Morton games, home and away.