“He explores the various sorts of visions to which independence supporters aspire—socialist, enterprise-driven, republican etc.—provocatively querying what happens if on arrival at the much-vaunted Shangri-La it does not meet individuals’ personal expectations.”
‘A speech by the First Minister acknowledging Scotland’s role would be useful; a fund to promote research on Scotland and the empire, including a virtual museum, would be even better….As Scotland struggles with new questions about identity, it is important to confront the reality of what happened in the empire.
“Scots have a self-image of being frank and forthright. Within the professions at least, this is rarely justified. Agreement with official policy rather than plain speaking is the dominant form of discourse at the upper levels of Scottish education. Similar tendencies can be seen in law and medicine….”
The BBC was once among the UK’s most respected institutions but no more – and it faces fresh competition from new upstarts like Andrew Neil’s GB News and Murdoch’s UK News. Break-up or renewal ahead?
‘Women have no rights to organise separately. Women’s meetings on the subject of our own rights have been met with threats, intimidation, protests to the venues, smoke bombs, barrages of chanting and banging on windows and doors. “Liking” a Facebook post by feminist organisations such as For Women Scotland or Women’s Place UK, is accepted as grounds for investigation and disciplinary action by employers in both public and private sector.’
‘Working and living here has always been a dream of mine – but my French was never good enough to get a job. So, it seems ironic that, just as this has become a reality because of completely remote working, the possibility is being taken away.’
‘Germany, even if one goes as far back as Bismarck and 1871, is a relatively young country and, in its latest iteration, highly attractive to a lot of Europe’s youth. It does offer, then, a model for any nascent Scottish republic: open, tolerant, European, nationalist in a civic, secular sense. But, as its friends, including Kampfner, acknowledge, it faces significant challenges now and in future.’
“An informed view today tells us that Scotland’s Islands are not ‘peripheral’, and are less ‘remote’ than places deep inland; and these places which may be perceived as perfectly accessible from modern conurbations then serve to reinforce the core/periphery model.” Part 2 of UHI’s Prof Cheape’s challenging revisit of Gaelic culture/history
‘.Like the Bourbons, the Conservatives have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing. But Labour are in danger of the same. Time is running out for a reasonably well developed alternative option that might be included in a future referendum. Not only would this enrich a stale debate but would allow Labour to escape the potentially lethal embrace of working with the Tories again.’
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.