“..whilst natural resources from coal to oil and gas to wind and tidal have been pivotal to recent Scottish history, we have to understand them in terms of their constitutive role in human social relations. These themes will become only more pivotal as the energy future dominates political discussion and the urgency for socially just climate action continues to grow.”
“The failure to reduce demand in acute services through prevention is evident in the increasing proportion of Scottish budget spend on the National Health Service. This has had many consequences. Money required for acute services means less for other services.” A member of the Christie Commission on delivering public services in Scotland looks back/forward in sorrow
‘Progressives often criticise increased European co-operation on defence because they fear the construction of a European army on the superpower model. But if we understand European defence co-operation as contributing to multilateral missions, this could be a positive development.’
“Holyrood needs to revive its commitment to power sharing and subsidiarity. At its inception, the Scottish Parliament could legitimately claim to be bold and innovative. It can be again.”
“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.
In the final piece of his series the author makes a stand for classicism – and sustainable buildings in green cities
‘By far the most important risk factor for getting hospitalised, being admitted to an ICU, and dying from the disease is old age, particularly being over 80. Not many housing scheme residents get that far…’
‘This is not the model of capitalism envisaged by Adam Smith, that beautiful smooth-running machine with its assumptions of benign reciprocity between an industrialist and a workforce. It is, rather, an unfettered Hobbesian monster, not unlike the rampant and exploitative mercantilism which Smith (a proto-social psychologist, as well as economic theorist) sought to discredit.’ First of three in a series on Edinburgh’s architecture…
Folklorist and photographer Margaret Fay Shaw captured disappearing ways of island life. Her shadow appears in many of her photographs. Was this a deliberate self-portrait or an accident? asks the Canna House archivist