Inequality and mental illness: boxed in

The Scottish Government has given a few extra millions to mental health services but ministers know rising mental health illness is linked to poverty and inequality and do nothing to tackle these. Time for civil society to step up to the plate.

Scotland still losing the heid

‘Losing the heid’ is the title of an STV documentary on foreign takers of Scottish companies made by the author 25 years ago. Here he returns to the topic, finds more and more ‘crown jewels’ are no longer in Scottish hands, with Holyrood powerless to stop the process, and lists those that have gone recently.

Divided nation – Germany’s refugee crisis

Germany’s welcoming culture for more than a million refugees last year is under siege as Angela Merkel struggles to retain control. The Far Right is capitalising on doubts and anxieties, notably since the New Year sexual assaults on women in Cologne. The author returns to her home country and finds it divided anew but determined to defend its liberal democracy against the extremists.

Aberdeen misses the boat in the oil boom

Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron have rushed to Aberdeen to pledge financial support to surmount the oil industry slump. But the city was never given the tools to benefit fully from the boom, argues the Aberdeen-based author. It now needs a change in Scotland’s political culture to make the transition.

No need for new alcohol search powers

Police Scotland is seeking to reinstate non-statutory stop and search of children for alcohol despite new laws abolishing it. But new SG evidence, published here for the first time, suggests that under-age drinking offences have fallen dramatically: any new powers would be wholly unwarranted.

Depression, delusion and disorder

One in four adults suffers from mental health problems in any given year; politicos talk of raising awareness and funding. In this searing personal account – “designed with people who are struggling in mind” – Loki tells it how it is/was for him and how hard to find and deal with the truth about himself.

Constitutional generosity is only way forward

A year on from the referendum Scotland remains a deeply divided nation. A revised and expanded Scotland Bill giving the Scottish Government powers to build a socially more just society within a unitary British state – the third unused option last year – could settle matters “for a generation.”