‘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.’
“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”?
‘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.
‘Corbyn’s speech is most important for its opening up a clear policy divide – 20 months after the Brexit vote – between Labour and Tories. That should make for an opposition starting to hold the government more to account. Whether it will result in the torpedoing of May’s Brexit strategy or even in an early election are the big questions that lie ahead.
‘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?’
‘The Westminster system is, for now, failing. So what the EU faces is not just a huge challenge in getting to a Brexit deal with the UK. The EU also has to face the fact that one of its most important neighbours (as the UK is becoming) – its former partner, one of the largest European economies, one of the stronger foreign policy players, and an important democracy – is politically adrift.’
‘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.