‘In the past twenty years, festivals are returning as we realise their place and value in society. It should be unsurprising that many of these ‘newly hallowed’ traditions should resemble Halloween in some way or other: the selection of a hallowed day or event, the putting on of costume, the establishment of rites and rituals. Even non-festive occasions, like protest, are increasingly moments for Halloween-esque performance and participation: a symptom of the appetite for a public sphere conducive to sociability like the one that, at some point, conjured the modern Halloween’.
“It is this total vacuity of devolved politics, self-consciously free from conflict and danger, that allows the spectre of Scottish Toryism to haunt us so brazenly. They can happily adopt the rhetoric of the centre-left parties that have predominated in Scottish politics, articulating a politically empty ‘Scottish’ interest that means whatever the voters want it to”.
‘It’s embarrassing to admit there are nights I wake up trembling, ‘They can deport me’. Waiting to hear if her permanent residency application is accepted, Polish writer Kasia Kokowska describes what it’s like to live her Scottish life in limbo.
“There is considerable political goodwill to Scotland in EU capitals since it is facing Brexit despite having voted to remain. That political goodwill, on current trends, is likely to feed into an effort to fast-track Scotland’s EU membership in the event of a successful independence vote.”
“It is inevitable that the balance of power between the devolved and central governments will shift, with more power going to the former, unless the UK government actively chooses what Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has described as a ‘land grab’ “. The Sewel implications of the UK Supreme Court judgment.
“With so many reasons to avoid sex, whether it be long days working and longer nights with the baby, and so many alternatives at my finger-tips, it can be tempting to neglect this area of life under false pretences and disappear down a digital rabbit-hole.” Loki learns to cope (and with himself) in the third part of his diary.
Former Bishop of Edinburgh Richard Holloway, whose complex relationship with his own Christian tradition makes him perhaps the quintessential sceptical Scot, explores the history of religion in a new book.
“Nobody really knows when they first heard, or heard of, Jimmy Shand. Like the force of gravity or your mother’s maiden name, you cannot recall a time before your awareness of his existence.” On ceilidhs, prom dances and growing up in Scotland.
Though there is fierce disagreement about the extent of any Marxist revolutionary incursion into Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour there is less dispute – for both his supporters and opponents – that it is bad news. For most, it seems, Trotskyists are simply beyond the pale, distinguished by an unmistakeable whiff of sulphur. But why, exactly?
A review of a fine new book by three young writers that offers a much needed razor-sharp critique of Scotland’s emerging political monoculture.