Student debt and grants in Scotland: an update

“The Scottish system is not debt-free in the absence of fees: indeed Scottish students are borrowing a substantial amount as a group each year. The Scottish approach relies heavily on loans to cover the state’s role in providing low-income students, in particular, with living cost support. Grants are now so low that those from the lowest incomes are taking on the most of that living cost debt.”

Hilltop vision of independent Scotland in Europe

“It is a compelling argument for an independent Scotland in the EU that it would mean Scots free to work and trade across Europe and the many amazing Europeans who choose to live and contribute here could do so with confidence.” Jackie Kemp on why she’s switched to Yes

Children tell Scottish cabinet how it is

“There are teachers in the playground but bullying usually gets taken to the classroom teacher and they don’t always deal with it. Teachers think their job is to educate children but they should realise it is also to support children and to help them when they are finding things difficult.”

T2 Trainspotting: back to what future?

“Except for a brief cameo of the Parliament building, you would be forgiven for not realising how much political upheaval there has been in Scotland alone since the first film was released—in 1996, before devolution—for there is a feeling of stasis throughout.”

A steep learning curve

“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.

Fatherhood fears

In the second extract from his diary, Loki reflects on his fears of being a Dad but getting closer to his own parents. “Intimate relationships are very challenging and the feelings of vulnerability are overwhelming at times….In my parents I see the two extremes of what I am capable of.”

A dad’s first baby diary: the annunciation

“I grew up in an environment where parental figures were under a lot of pressure and stress. In fact, many difficulties of childhood came as a direct result of our collective inability to express and manage emotions.” In the first extract from an occasional diary, Loki reflects on becoming a new parent – and on his own boyhood.