The co-editors announce the closure of Sceptical Scot on its seventh anniversary….
“The report, the launch, the minutes of the Advisory Council meetings – all point to a ‘just get it done and get it out’ approach. And as with previous, failed, economic strategies it will go through various hoops of progress reports and ‘accountability’ that are underplayed and soon forgotten. But without anyone taking real ownership, without a genuine attempt to identify and plan a way forward, little will change.”
“The current position in Scotland is just not good enough. Infant removals continue to this day. They do not lie in our past. This trend is found in other wealthy countries..yet elsewhere infant removals appear more subject to public scrutiny. An infant entering care in 2016, when the Independent Care Review was launched by the First Minister, will be 14 years of age by 2030. Hardly a sea change. More surely a glacial pace.”
Survival, war, poetry. What is it like to fight for your motherland with words and on the streets? Here is a message to transcend time and place.
‘The current conflict seems one from an anachronous, imperial past. There is little to separate a Ukrainian and a Russian – this is not an ethnic conflict but one over territory.’
‘It is conceivable that all this could lead to a rapid collapse of the Putin autocracy, but we should not engage in wishful thinking. Wide-ranging economic sanctions on Russia may be needed for a lengthy period of time. Ejection from Swift is a symbol of these efforts, not a powerful economic tool that can constrain Russia’s actions in Ukraine at little cost to ourselves.’
‘Clearly the political and institutional landscape has changed dramatically since 2014. One inescapable fact about any future debate on the economic case for Scottish independence is that the terrain – by which we mean the political, economic, social and cultural context – has shifted significantly.’
“The Government must change, and fund change elsewhere. Organisations and institutions that for a long time have not provided good enough care must change, and any new organisation must be set up to meet the needs of those they support, not the system they are a part of… yet just because there are areas of concern does not negate the progress already made, and progress has been made.”
“A start to redressing this imbalance would be for the UK Government and the devolved governments to sign the European Charter of Local Self Government – then we could at last begin to have serious conversations, based on a joint understanding of and respect for each other’s roles, on how we are to successfully tackle the substantial and increasingly complex issues of the future.”
“It doesn’t have to be like this, as David Attenborough has reminded us at the end of every episode of his most urgently powerful and poignant series: Green Planet, and with force in the final fifth, Human Worlds. Solutions are tantalisingly within reach. At no risk to ourselves we can make our own surrounds much greener – and a lot more pleasant.”