EVER felt ignored?

With only four females in the UK cabinet, it seems that the views of women have been marginalised. But the lack of women's representation goes beyond cabinets.

Too often, discussions are left to the same group of voices, in the same old studios, saying the same old things.

That said, in Scotland we should be proud of the role which women are playing in the important debates which will shape the future of our country.

Last week I appeared on Newsnight Scotland on behalf of Women For Independence.

We're a campaign group that aims to involve women ahead of next year's Independence referendum.

I was invited to chat about the effects of the Welfare Reform Bill. How will it impact on attitudes to Independence? How will it affect women in Scottish society?

I was pleased to do my part to ensure that the voices of Scottish women are heard in a discussion about the dismantling of the welfare state by the government in Westminster. This is an issue which affects us all - every household and every family. The changes to the welfare state that are being implemented go further than the stated aim of tackling worklessness.

I believe it's an attack on people working hard to provide for their families.

Going forward, there can be no more high-profile role than Minister for Independence, being so capably handled by Nicola Sturgeon.

On the opposition benches, fronting their respective parties, are Labour's Johann Lamont and Tory Ruth Davidson.

And, keeping them all in line sits the Presiding Officer, Fife MSP Tricia Marwick; the first woman to hold the post since the Parliament was reconvened in 1999.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me just say that not only is Tricia Marwick a fantastic MSP and an accomplished Presiding Officer, she is also one of the best aunties a girl could ever have - and I'd know!

****************** I hadn't been on Newsnight as a guest before and it was certainly a bit different creeping around an almost empty building at night, skulking into the make-up department before appearing in front of presenter Gordon Brewer.

The last time I was on TV previous to this, I was brandishing a turnip lantern and bemoaning the Americanisation of Hallowe'en!

They may have been two very different topics but I can confirm that both STV and the BBC employ the same trowels to apply screen make-up.

******************* l was at a Burns Supper last week and was privileged to win a poetry master class with the Scottish Makar, Liz Lochhead in the raffle.

On account of not having a poetic bone in my body, and preferring to read the mastery of others than my own execrable attempts, it promises to be an interesting afternoon.

Between you and I though, I was secretly holding out hope for a cheeky bottle of something sparkling instead ...