Edinburgh Poverty Commission is an independent group working to define the steps required to end poverty in the capital. It has been listening to people and organisations in the city over the past few weeks to hear at first hand the profound impacts of the Covid-19 emergency on people living in poverty, now and in the future, and issues its interim report today.
‘Once the public health crisis of COVID-19 is over, it might yet expose the flaws in this capital-led economy just as it has exposed the inadequacies of our public health systems that has suffered from under-investment over a decade of austerity.’
‘Not everything is about the constitution. We need to find a way out of the lazy constitutional rut Scottish politics has descended into. This is not to suggest that the constitutional question or relations between London and Edinburgh are unimportant, only that there are other ways of looking at politics and policy. Even in the midst of this crisis, this needs to be a learning exercise and not only when we look back and seek to learn lessons retrospectively.’
On security and surveillance trade-offs: ‘Even if the government is well intentioned, as many people doubtless think, are they competent to build a secure system? As the Scottish Government pauses for reflection, declining to adopt NHSX, we have an opportunity to ask these questions.’
Camus speaks for our era: ‘The time of the irresponsible artists is over… The freedom of art is not worth much when its only purpose is to assure the artists comfort‘. Katie Paterson’s work (Future Library) takes that observation and invocation to heart. Go see it however you can…
‘Feeling helpless, isolated, scared, alone, trapped, nostalgic, missing people, missing the pub: these are all feelings we will always feel. Except for maybe the pub bit. My songwriting tends to be really misty eyed over that communal drinking with friends thing anyway. Now that’s gone into overdrive.’
‘Our prime minister has discovered the hard way that cheery optimism alone will not protect us from this virus; the only certainty about the future is that it is uncertain. Bad things can, and do, happen. We are all ‘buffeted by events.’ I hope this reality check will extend to his view of Brexit.’
An open letter to Labour leader Keir Starmer and Scotland’s First Minister from a senior medical statistician urging at least a re-think of their refusal to break ranks with UK Government policy for containing/suppressing Covid-19.
Covid-19 has stopped live music in its tracks. No gigs. No tours. No plans. What is it like to be a musician in lockdown? Writer/Musician Craig Angus opens our new series by asking himself.
Edwin Morgan became Scotland’s first makar in 2004: a tribute to him on his centenary from his biographer. ‘He was an acrobat of words and identities. Perhaps his own identity as a gay man, risking censure or imprisonment through most of his life, encouraged that ability to shape-shift.’