‘Scotland likes to see itself as a bold, brave, progressive, dynamic 21st Century nation, but the truth is more insular, conservative, deferential and, in the end, suffocating – not just for individuals, but for ideas and innovation too. Unless that changes, nothing else will.’
‘As for the other people on the forum, it would be surprising if any ‘wild cards’ are to be found, since the tried and tested mechanisms of patronage ensure that those who get through the vetting process have to be judged ‘sound’. In the conformist culture of Scottish education, any tendency to ‘rock the boat’ is unlikely to lead to career advancement.’ On the OECD review of the Curriculum for Excellence…
‘Every major party in Scotland has contributed to the process of centralisation and this has undermined local responses to the crisis. Scotland’s constitutional status is an important issue but not at the cost of considering the need for reform of local governance….’
In Part 2 of his historical analysis of Scotland’s relationship with slavery, David Black highlights a typical ambivalence: progressive views sitting alongside naked exploitation.
What might we learn from the progressive thinking which gave power to local public health officers who understood local lives and deaths.
‘…our statue problems in Scotland are surely puny; our current outrage a mite self-indulgent and synthetic, though the emblematic validity of our public monuments should indeed be critically scrutinised from time to time.’ Pt 1 of an exploration of our ambivalent representations of history.
How to keep comedy live in lockdown and no Fringe in town? Craig Angus heads for Monkey Barrel Comedy Club. They have plans.
In his latest piece, senior statistician James Urquhart, investigates how the UK Government uses UK data to buttress policy decisions for England and asks: manipulation or malfeasance…
As much as a third (32%) of the Scottish workforce isn’t working in the lockdown but it’s the young who are the hardest hit and faces the bleakest future – unless we adopt New Deal-style measures to prevent a “lost generation” being scarred for life.
‘If QE was a policy response to the idea that banks were too big to fail, the MMT response is based on the idea that an entire country cannot be left to fail. The question is: what happens if MMT doesn’t work to save a country in a crisis?’