As a new case for Scottish independence emerges and #indyref2 looms, the latest Sceptical Scot podcast looks at the case for federalism as the best route to true community empowerment.
‘The polls do not indicate a pro-independence surge, but after the shock of 2016 only a fool would predict the outcome with confidence. Westminster could in principle refuse to allow another referendum, but emulating Madrid’s handling of Catalonia would surely not be the right course of action.’
“With the UK taking Scotland in a direction that most of the public do not support, the alienation of Scotland from the rest of the UK should be of great concern – however it appears that London’s attention would only be secured if there was growing support for Scottish independence.”
‘It would be unreasonable of the Scottish government to object to temporary reservation as a matter of principle…Equally, it would be unreasonable of the UK government to insist that such temporary reservations can be without limit of time, just to give themselves leverage in the negotiation of the replacement. The scope for compromise is obvious, and as a result this legislation… can be dropped.’
‘It is not true to say nationalisation or state ownership is forbidden by the EU. There are plenty of models of ownership in Europe, often involving workers sitting on boards or devolved regional governments making laws to support local economic development.’
Rory Scothorne explores the emergence of student radicalism in Scotland, arguing that the politicisation of Scottish students during the “1968 era” has left a lasting impression on Scottish politics and culture rather than the prevailing myth about 1968: it didn’t happen here.
The author hears Sir John Sawers, ex-MI6 chief, tell a Harvard audience how Scottish independence won’t happen even though the UK will be diminished by Brexit – and that includes its voice in Washington.
‘Corbyn’s speech is most important for its opening up a clear policy divide – 20 months after the Brexit vote – between Labour and Tories. That should make for an opposition starting to hold the government more to account. Whether it will result in the torpedoing of May’s Brexit strategy or even in an early election are the big questions that lie ahead.
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.
‘… the challenge remains for Derek Mackay as to how best to balance his resource budget with major commitments like additional support for the NHS, more money for childcare and public sector pay uplifts all to be paid for.’