In a special guest blog, Sir Tom Hunter, whose eponymous Foundation commissioned the recent Raising Scotland’s Economic Growth Rate report from Oxford Economics, underlines how Scotland’s economy lags behind and needs radical change to catch up and rediscover its innovative dynamism.
“The tension between reporting the facts and the grave reality of the situation and the responsibility to boost morale is laid out in front of you as a reporter.” Trials and tribulations of being a frontline local news reporter during the pandemic movingly described by the author.
Going beyond recovery from the pandemic. In reviewing a recent book on Scotland post-Covid-19, we urge an ambitious, granular debate on the ways to transform our country and make it greener, fairer and more democratic for all.
As epitaphs are written for the Union of 1707, prematurely or not, the author argues that unionists misunderstand it: it’s a process under constant negotiation.
‘The lows have been crushing. I have to be honest and say I didn’t actually think I was capable of hitting them and it’s been frightening.’ Craig Angus unflinchingly writes about tackling his mental health
Fair shares? Big supermarkets and other private corporations have seen profits boom during the pandemic. If they each invested just a small percentage of their profits it could end food poverty in Britain.
‘Devolution was grafted onto an unreformed centre, an unreformed state. Without addressing what is literally the central problem, the prospect of constitutional stability looks remote. There are glimmers of hope. The assumption that there is no demand for reform in England ignores recent, albeit rudimentary, developments in need of leadership, elaboration and mobilisation.’
“And herein lies the rub with Scotland’s supposedly “radical” land reform journey. The measures so far have not transformed the big picture: some have merely dragged Scotland’s anachronistic land laws into the 20th century as the rest of the world has entered the 21st. Most changes have worked within the old paradigm, treading carefully—maybe even neurotically—around established property rights.”
Many people in Scotland are finding this second lockdown harder than the first. People are tired, burnt out…no-one knows when this will end. Philippa Kemp describes how human contact can provide vital support – both online and offline
‘…richer nations such as Scotland need to live up to their oft-repeated, much-vaunted proclamations in favour of global solidarity. So far, we’re not even talking about it in the pandemic.’