“It (review of timetable for BTP merger) needs to be independent, transparent and at arm’s length from government. Oversight by a board that is co-chaired by senior civil servants and reports to Scottish Ministers doesn’t pass this test and would allow the Scottish Government to mark its own homework.
The long term-aim must be to return to a society where houses are viewed as somewhere to live, not as vehicles for accumulating wealth. This can’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy. The task involves taking on the unholy alliance of private developers, banks and – most difficult of all – ordinary homeowners, many of whom now view ever rising house prices as normal and just.
Advice For Our Times, a pop up event at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery on Thursday 8 February, highlights gaps in advice, support and social services for people suffering adversity of many different kinds.
The language of Scottish education needs to become less boastful and sentimental, and more honest. Professor Walter Humes calls for a national policy debate with people prepared to ask tough questions and challenge orthodoxies of an under-achieving education system.
‘On balance, the SFC’s GDP forecasts are not out of kilter with the recent past. And the SFC assumes that there will be no ‘bounce-back’ in Scottish growth to recapture weak growth relative to the UK over the past 2.5 years’.
‘As 2018 begins, policing in Scotland is in crisis: no chief constable, a justice minister facing political and legal challenges over his behaviour and a national police authority forced to re-establish its reputation and define its role. A close examination of the structures is urgently needed if this crisis is to be resolved’.
‘The success of Resilience in Scotland has not just taken the tour’s organisers by surprise. As no other country has engaged with the film in the way that Scotland has the filmmakers are also intrigued. It’s certainly worth trying to understand why the film has such resonance for us. Resilience is a great educational resource and is opening many Scots eyes to the source of our health problems and what has literally been ‘hiding in plain sight’.
‘But this is the sad truth about a would-be full European state: its references/comparisons on health issues (as at the opening First Minister’s Question Time of 2018) are always to/with England. In some cases, it borders on an obsession. At the very least, we should rather investigate how EU member states perform and what we can learn from them.’
‘Given all this why is it that over 9 million adults in the UK say they feel lonely all or most of time? Why has loneliness (often caused by a lack of kindness) come to blight contemporary life for so many people?’
Liberty and equality are both desirable, but too much of one can lead to too little of the other. Fraternity – the value of face to face relationships of respect and affection – can help establish a fair balance along with equity. In the third extract from Working for Equality the author pleads the case for a leaving certificate of equal value for all.