‘Scotland likes to see itself as a bold, brave, progressive, dynamic 21st Century nation, but the truth is more insular, conservative, deferential and, in the end, suffocating – not just for individuals, but for ideas and innovation too. Unless that changes, nothing else will.’
‘As for the other people on the forum, it would be surprising if any ‘wild cards’ are to be found, since the tried and tested mechanisms of patronage ensure that those who get through the vetting process have to be judged ‘sound’. In the conformist culture of Scottish education, any tendency to ‘rock the boat’ is unlikely to lead to career advancement.’ On the OECD review of the Curriculum for Excellence…
How to keep comedy live in lockdown and no Fringe in town? Craig Angus heads for Monkey Barrel Comedy Club. They have plans.
‘Every major party in Scotland has contributed to the process of centralisation and this has undermined local responses to the crisis. Scotland’s constitutional status is an important issue but not at the cost of considering the need for reform of local governance….’
In Part 2 of his historical analysis of Scotland’s relationship with slavery, David Black highlights a typical ambivalence: progressive views sitting alongside naked exploitation.
‘The current COVID-19 events are not a “second wave”, or a “second peak”, or “second spikes”. They are continuations of the ongoing epidemic. There was no second wave with SARS, a closely related coronavirus, and we are still waiting for one in Wuhan.’
“I wanted to upset everybody, including myself. Half the problem with the world is that half the people take themselves too seriously. The other half don’t take themselves seriously enough.”
What might we learn from the progressive thinking which gave power to local public health officers who understood local lives and deaths.
‘…our statue problems in Scotland are surely puny; our current outrage a mite self-indulgent and synthetic, though the emblematic validity of our public monuments should indeed be critically scrutinised from time to time.’ Pt 1 of an exploration of our ambivalent representations of history.
We discovered (Tao O’Noth) had once contained 800 dwelling platforms – housing as many as 4,000 people – and if they all date to the same period this would stand as almost urban-scale settlement, which archaeologists previously did not believe existed in Scotland until the 12th century.