‘If the limit of our collective ambition is to elect a media-friendly performer (like some kind of reliable weather forecaster) who can deliver a few hits in Holyrood to rally the troops, we’re underestimating the scale of Labour’s problem. And running the risk of getting giddy on the political equivalent of the worst football managerial merry-go-round’.
Archives for October 2017
‘We need to recognise the bawdy sense of mischief that was common currency in the tradition before it was swept aside by the religious revival in the 19th century. In contrast to the shortbread tin image of Highland culture, this sheds vital light on the past and the present – as Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair would have it, breasts, pricks, warts and all’.
‘Rights without any means of enforcement are truly useless. As part of the UK, Scotland is bound by the UN’s Aarhus Convention which requires that people must be able to challenge situations where their environmental rights are denied or environmental laws are broken. Article 9(4) says that these challenges must be “not prohibitively expensive”. But access to environmental justice is prohibitively expensive in Scotland’.
‘The Index goes beyond a simple measure of GDP growth in trying to determine relative changes in well-being across similarly developed countries. Indeed, given the tenuous link between government policy and short term economic growth, the Index is better suited to identifying areas which government can influence in order to improve the economic fundamentals’.
‘In the past twenty years, festivals are returning as we realise their place and value in society. It should be unsurprising that many of these ‘newly hallowed’ traditions should resemble Halloween in some way or other: the selection of a hallowed day or event, the putting on of costume, the establishment of rites and rituals. Even non-festive occasions, like protest, are increasingly moments for Halloween-esque performance and participation: a symptom of the appetite for a public sphere conducive to sociability like the one that, at some point, conjured the modern Halloween’.
No deal. That’s not just the spin from Theresa May’s cabinet, it’s the bleakly realistic view of Fabian Zuleeg, chief executive of the European Policy Centre.
The upcoming budget debate is an important opportunity for policymakers from all sides to set out what they would do, yes on taxation, but also on expenditure and growth. The new income tax powers provide some measure of relief, but it’s far from the only game in town’.
‘EU member states are still divided on the recognition of Kosovo. The time may have come for some better European international principles about who has the right to self-determination and how’.
‘The political landscape has been transformed by Brexit and Corbyn. New political cleavages, more complex than the simple Yes/No binary of the Indyref, have emerged. The terrain is now more challenging for the SNP. But if they are able to tack successfully into the new political winds, these challenges can be met’.
‘What we have here is clear evidence that points to what many people believe anecdotally: there are many parents in Glasgow who believe their children’s education is better served by a school in one of these more affluent suburbs’.