‘with the political calculus in parliament balanced on a knife-edge, the decisions taken by the Labour Party leadership over the coming weeks could have huge repercussions for the party, and for the country.’ Pt 1 of a new analysis
Taking a break from Brexit Fay Young finds subversive mischief in the poetry of Edinburgh Makars, as performed in Edinburgh’s Poetry Garden (aka St Andrew Square)
Soft, hard, Norway plus, no deal or second referendum? However divided the parties and however unstable UK politics becomes, the UK’s politicians cannot put the choice off any longer.’ Kirsty Hughes on Tuesday’s Commons vote
A key aim of the Smith Commission was to improve accountability and make Scotland’s politicians responsible for the money that they spent. Unfortunately rather than helping to deliver this aim, the current proposals for VAT assignment risk undermining that principle.
In his short story, The Nummer 14 Bus, James Robertson evokes the daily struggle played out on a bus ride through Scotland’s affluent capital. It could be a bus ride in any UK city.
‘What we have done is to allow the banks to get away with this scot-free and, in the crisis that was caused, we have made the poor pay for it and we have made them do that through cutting benefits, through austerity, through cutting government spending generally, but also through Quantitative Easing (QE)..’
‘The status quo that brought us to Brexit will not get us out of it. While that time has gone, it is clear a new way of talking about the future was sorely needed anyway, even more so two years on. Meanwhile we are presented with an opportunity: in the breaking down of established common sense comes an opportunity to recreate and redefine.’
Inequality in Scotland is on the rise. “It seems likely that more radical changes, such as significant redistribution of income, labour market reforms and major investment in deprived areas, would be needed to bring Scottish inequality close to Nordic levels.”
Confronting hard facts, authors at the inaugural Tobermory Book Festival raise spirits even as they sound alarm bells. Fay Young finds both comfort and warning in the prose and poetry of Scottish writers gathering on Mull.
Scottish Labour needs to learn lessons from its recent ( and wrong-headed/ill-informed) high-profile campaigning on Monklands Hospital. “We must be concerned with evidence, developing new policies, doing things differently and respecting communities and staff on the ground. This campaign ignored all the evidence and demonstrated a poor understanding of the issues and communities involved.”