“It won’t work. May’s project will flounder. It cannot deliver the communitarian goals it strives for, and will damage Britain’s competitive position.” But: “In Scotland, things will keep going catastrophically nowhere.”
“Since then, the economic crisis, the travails of the euro, and the destructive impacts of globalisation have blown that logic apart. Free trade – and its liberal corollary, the free movement of people – have lost their mass appeal. Nowhere is that more true than in Wallonia.”
Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland should at least stay in the EU single market but: “the political and technical complexity of the proposal does raise the obvious question as to whether such a move is easier or more desirable, even in the short term, than full independence in the EU,” argues a leading expert.
“In meetings of the Council of Ministers, insiders say that no one now listens when UK representatives talk. The UK still has a vote – but without good allies in other member states to work with on blocking or promoting decisions, the UK’s and Scotland’s interests are already not being protected in the EU.” So, #indyref2 in early 2017 is the only answer, First Minister?
“People often talk about federalism as if it were a solution for the UK. In truth the UK is already moving beyond it, to a more confederal solution. But a confederation needs policies and institutions of shared rule, as well as self-rule.” Prof Gallagher sets out his own ideas in a piece based on his lecture at Glasgow University on October 10.
Inverleith House gallery is to close. Was art sacrificed in a sharper focus on commerce and community at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh?
Reflections on a journey home to Scotland: “As well as being concerned for Scotland, I feel sad for England. If England has lost its way, if it has stumbled and may fall, if there is a battle afoot for its soul, then I don’t want for Scotland to view this merely as a good time to kick it in the crown jewels.”
“Nobody really knows when they first heard, or heard of, Jimmy Shand. Like the force of gravity or your mother’s maiden name, you cannot recall a time before your awareness of his existence.” On ceilidhs, prom dances and growing up in Scotland.
‘Scotland invented Highlandism because its own culture had been ignored by London and suppressed by many leading Scots in the years after Union. Rejecting it is siding with Irvine Welsh’s Rent Boy in Trainspotting saying “it’s shite being Scottish”.’
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“At the very least, the hyping in 2012 of a new of ‘minimum income’ which would benefit all low-income students looks increasingly to have been based on a shoogly set of assumptions about how quite a few of its target audience would respond.”
“We are going to put forward proposals, that we would hope that the UK Government would be prepared to listen to, that would allow Scotland to preserve its place in the single market and preserve aspects of its relationship with the EU.” Nicola Sturgeon opts for post-Brexit Home Rule – indy comes later…
“It sounds simple to hold back a referendum until enough people tell you they’ll vote Yes. The complication is that many people don’t know what their choice will be until they can make sense of recent events.”
“Nicola Sturgeon’s decision on the timing of the independence referendum is likely to be the most important of her leadership. If she gets it right her place in Scottish history is assured but if she gets it wrong her time as First Minster would be over. It can be very lonely at the top.”