Rory Scothorne explores the emergence of student radicalism in Scotland, arguing that the politicisation of Scottish students during the “1968 era” has left a lasting impression on Scottish politics and culture rather than the prevailing myth about 1968: it didn’t happen here.
‘Official Scotland is a relatively small world and many of the key players meet and socialise on a regular basis. Cronyism with a Scottish accent is no more acceptable than the public school/Oxbridge variety…it exhibits many of the worst features of narrative privilege, bureaucratic defensiveness, professional protectionism and the abuse of patronage.’
‘It would be unreasonable of the Scottish government to object to temporary reservation as a matter of principle…Equally, it would be unreasonable of the UK government to insist that such temporary reservations can be without limit of time, just to give themselves leverage in the negotiation of the replacement. The scope for compromise is obvious, and as a result this legislation… can be dropped.’
‘It is no longer possible for any individual nation to collapse in isolation. Our closely integrated global systems will simply disintegrate.’ Sceptical Scot publishes an extract from Jim Whyte’s prophetic Letter to My Grandchildren confronting the legacy the older generation is bequeathing to a no longer distant future.
Given that farm support has historically been a major influence on UK land prices, how will Brexit impact the value of farmland? Deb Roberts examines the evidence.
“Currently, we expend about 10 calories of fossil fuel to generate one calorie of food. This is unsustainable not just in a small way but to quite an alarming extent.” Scientist Ian Boyd sees hope in vertical farming but can Scotland retain its lead in this pioneering technology by scaling it up to “an industrial reality”?
‘I have loved the Rite of Spring since I first heard it, more than 30 years ago. Visceral, violent stuff. Spring, like human birth, does not deliver easily. Stravinsky delighted in the cracking ice that signalled the bursting of new life into Russia’s frozen landscape.’
‘School holds a fascination long after we leave it because it is so often the last time many people feel themselves emerging as individuals. By adulthood, the terms of who we are and what we decide to do are expected to be firmly set….And so when, in Edinburgh, we are asked: ‘what school did you go to?’ the question perhaps belies a deeper subtext: ‘who were you, before you made the choice?’
‘They see physical fitness in a kind of racialized lens, as a way to cleanse the body and maintain this Aryan purity, but more practically: to actually be prepared for the race war, or skirmishes that come up prior to the major battle.’ Bryan Schatz of Mother Jones traces the rise of fighting fascists from Russia to California.
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‘It is not true to say nationalisation or state ownership is forbidden by the EU. There are plenty of models of ownership in Europe, often involving workers sitting on boards or devolved regional governments making laws to support local economic development.’
The author hears Sir John Sawers, ex-MI6 chief, tell a Harvard audience how Scottish independence won’t happen even though the UK will be diminished by Brexit – and that includes its voice in Washington.
“It (review of timetable for BTP merger) needs to be independent, transparent and at arm’s length from government. Oversight by a board that is co-chaired by senior civil servants and reports to Scottish Ministers doesn’t pass this test and would allow the Scottish Government to mark its own homework.
‘I hope the parties do split. This is a time when the country needs some people prepared to step out of the shadows and offer leadership, and a vision that moderates from both sides could share. It could be the best thing for Britain and Europe…’