In Part 3 of his essay the author urges an end to utopian thinking: ‘Should we condone people like my father who yearn for Utopia and who believe we should give planned perfection one more try? No, these people are endlessly sailing their boats towards a non-existent goal and are making themselves and the rest of us unhappy.’
‘In this he follows those other utopian traditions of the French revolutionary great terror, the purges of Stalin and Mao. His walled island state now resembles North Korea. If he were to enforce his ideal of the human blank slate, then he would have arrived at Pol Pot’s ‘Year Zero’.’ Part 2 of the author’s essay on utopia(s)
‘Two years after the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s book, I see a resurgence in Utopian thinking in many countries and fear we could be on verge of taking a collective voyage to nowhere once again.’ Part One (of three) of an essay on utopia, millennialism, freedom, society, human nature – and Scotland.
‘In the continental pre-summit debate, Brexit hardly gets a mention. The June summit is seen as the great test of President Macron’s ability to deliver some form of credible reform plan. The precise details may be less important than a sense of a clear direction of travel – the impression that the EU is willing to look beyond its familiar muddle and fudge and take charge of its own destiny.’
“British racism has evolved. We no longer see gangs of racist folks roaming the streets. They now wear suits and ties
Some form political parties…” Benjamin Zephaniah’s poetic analysis of institutionalised racism has particular resonance in the aftermath of the Windrush scandal.
‘This shared commitment is so different in character from the imposition of any neo-liberal ‘structural adjustment programme’ of the past imposed by the international financial institutions, or any diktat of the powerful emerging from the Security Council or from any single power.’
‘The name Immigration Removal Centre sounds harmless enough; just a pragmatic facility for holding people briefly on their way to another place. Don’t be fooled by the name. These places share the most punitive attributes of our prison service with none of the ameliorating facilities for improvement or rehabilitation.’
“With the UK taking Scotland in a direction that most of the public do not support, the alienation of Scotland from the rest of the UK should be of great concern – however it appears that London’s attention would only be secured if there was growing support for Scottish independence.”
‘With hindsight there was a poignant contrast between the generous spirit in the hall and the fearful politics brewing in the real world outside’. Fay Young on positive community activism and a general election result that ushered in Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’.
The smell of onions frying is in the air. In the evening there is a light in every window. There are people living in the glen again. Donald McPhillimy sees the future and it is a hut built of wood.