‘His life-story has contemporary resonances, with the resurgence of the far right and what the French call fascisant mentality along with nativist protectionism in response to both pandemic and economic collapse. From his school days, Cairncross was a firm believer in (Scottish) Enlightenment values; he remained an exemplar of Davie’s Democratic Intellect.’
‘Feeling helpless, isolated, scared, alone, trapped, nostalgic, missing people, missing the pub: these are all feelings we will always feel. Except for maybe the pub bit. My songwriting tends to be really misty eyed over that communal drinking with friends thing anyway. Now that’s gone into overdrive.’
Coronavirus brings powerful new poignancy to a remarkable poetry collection gathered by Edinburgh’s former Makar, Christine De Luca to celebrate “those who daily undertake some of the lesser-seen jobs in our city…night bus drivers, lollipop ladies, binmen…now on the ‘frontline’
‘As the inequalities in our economic system are laid bare by this crisis, rather than returning to business as usual, countries such as the UK would be well-served to instead build back better by creating a wellbeing economy.’
‘Our prime minister has discovered the hard way that cheery optimism alone will not protect us from this virus; the only certainty about the future is that it is uncertain. Bad things can, and do, happen. We are all ‘buffeted by events.’ I hope this reality check will extend to his view of Brexit.’
‘Science is a vital resource for modelling scenarios and developing medical and technical responses; but for many aspects of decision-making it is contested and uncertain. If we set our scientific advisors up to find policy solutions, we risk generating disillusionment with science, and, in the long term, further erosion of its authority.’
An open letter to Labour leader Keir Starmer and Scotland’s First Minister from a senior medical statistician urging at least a re-think of their refusal to break ranks with UK Government policy for containing/suppressing Covid-19.
‘While billions are being spent on our nuclear deterrent, British troops were deployed without adequate equipment, including body armour, in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now, in the midst of the pandemic, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and care home staff, are under-equipped.’
Covid-19 has stopped live music in its tracks. No gigs. No tours. No plans. What is it like to be a musician in lockdown? Writer/Musician Craig Angus opens our new series by asking himself.
Edwin Morgan became Scotland’s first makar in 2004: a tribute to him on his centenary from his biographer. ‘He was an acrobat of words and identities. Perhaps his own identity as a gay man, risking censure or imprisonment through most of his life, encouraged that ability to shape-shift.’