‘We need to recognise the bawdy sense of mischief that was common currency in the tradition before it was swept aside by the religious revival in the 19th century. In contrast to the shortbread tin image of Highland culture, this sheds vital light on the past and the present – as Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair would have it, breasts, pricks, warts and all’.
This year’s Black History Month opens a new chapter in Scotland with a campaign to establish Scotland’s own museum of empire, slavery, colonialism and migration.
There is every chance that the strident, morally certain progressives of the future will look at us in much the same way we look at the slave owners. And much the same way the slave owners looked at the slaves; less than, unevolved inferiors…Sub-human’.
Kate Tough’s poetry stirs hearts and minds as Glasgow celebrates Slavery Remembrance Day 2017 with growing openness about the city’s link with the slave trade.
Rather than trying to unmake history, Scotland should build on it. Rich landowners, whether native-born or from elsewhere, who cherish Scotland’s wild places, can use their resources to help to care for for it and to protect it from the challenges of the future.
Jeremy Corbyn’s serene countenance during the election campaign drew frequent parallels with that of a Buddhist monk, Corbyn himself at one point referring to his efforts to attune himself to a Zen mindframe. But Corbyn’s unaffected homily at Glastonbury suggests a comparison with another spiritual archetype might be more appropriate.
Owen Hopkins’s book Lost Futures surveys the rise, fall and rise again of the reputation of British post-war architectural modernism, including iconic Scottish projects such as Glasgow’s Red Roads Flat and Hutchenstown C, the Cockenzie Power Station and St Peter’s Seminary.
“If 2016 was the year in which millennials realised that they had to confront the true reality of their meagre inheritance, 2017 must be a year in which resistance to authoritarian nationalism takes definite form. The awful questions that the past twelve months have posed can only be answered if we first understand this moment as a generational coming of age.”
Communitarianism doesn’t have to be regressive: the pre-war origins of social democracy hold lessons for today’s left.
“Rich navigates this exceptionally fraught and emotionally charged terrain with great sensitivity. But on occasion his focus on making plain the nature of leftist anti-Semitism leads him to understate or omit some important elements of the Israeli-Palestine conflict that motivate Israel’s critics.”