‘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.
‘All I knew was that I was getting at least as much of an education from Bob as I was from the University. Bob was only four years older but he was a postgraduate student in philosophy, formidably well read, and in touch with the larger political world of which I was only distantly aware’ – a memoir of our late editorial board member
The long term-aim must be to return to a society where houses are viewed as somewhere to live, not as vehicles for accumulating wealth. This can’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy. The task involves taking on the unholy alliance of private developers, banks and – most difficult of all – ordinary homeowners, many of whom now view ever rising house prices as normal and just.
‘How often are citizens actively included in the decision-making? For Haringey, read those parts of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and every other vibrant city that attracts the developers’ eye’. Fay Young on the key urban question: how can people reclaim the city landscape?
‘(McGarvey’s) aware that many on the left will see this as a cop out but he’s ready with his reply. Of course, the left must continue to argue and campaign for structural change, he tells us, but no real change can happen unless poor people begin to feel powerful in their own lives.
‘Carol Craig has seen and shown how the child is father to the adult, identifying the childhood stresses that result in lifelong damage. But without substantial easing of the economic tensions that strain a household to breaking point, the requisite change isn’t coming any day soon’.
The language of Scottish education needs to become less boastful and sentimental, and more honest. Professor Walter Humes calls for a national policy debate with people prepared to ask tough questions and challenge orthodoxies of an under-achieving education system.