Has Denmark jettisoned the European jewel?

Denmark, one a paragon of liberal tolerance, is pilloried for its parliamentary vote to seize refugees’ assets to pay for their welfare and upkeep. But the vote is very unpopular at home. And accusations it is destroying the European project are wide of the mark: the EU itself is at fault for failure of solidarity.

Sober thoughts on sectarianism

The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 is under the microscope; the anti-sectarian charity nilbymouth.org has launched a new #KissBigotryGoodbye campaign aimed at soccer clubs and fans. Here Loki takes a self-eviscerating look at a perennial Scottish issue – and not just on the terraces of Ibrox.

Wrong approach to language and integration

David Cameron’s ham-fisted plans to help mainly Muslim women learn English have rightly been condemned for stigmatising people – not least as government funding for teaching English as a second language has been cut. Here the United States rather than Europe may have a better, more liberal process of integration.

Onwards and upwards: the hubris of hope

What is hope? What would it mean to wish that 2016 will be any better than 2015? As we enter the New Year the latest book by the prolific Terry Eagleton, Hope Without Optimism, offers a brief but wide-ranging meditation on the meaning of a seemingly simple concept that escapes easy definition.

I could murder a bit of good news

The Violence Reduction Unit’s Rapper in Residence celebrates recent headlines claiming Glasgow is no longer Britain’s most violent city. He urges communities to reject the myth that violence is something to be proud of and embrace the city’s new image.

Poetry helps us face facts of life … and death

David Bowie always accepted that life was finite but called death “a drag”. By the time he released his last album and accompanying video he knew death was imminent. Poetry helps us live with that truth we all face.