Orkney’s leaders recently raised the prospect of secession from Scotland, prompting Prof James Mitchell to look back over half a century of constitutional musing and political leverage.
“I was at a talk the other week by the Orange Order Historian Dr David Hume. It is a measure of how far we have come as a society that there was a talk about the Orange Order in the James Connolly Centre on the Falls Road.
“…the declaration’s authors had little desire to see an Anglo-Scottish union centuries later, nor had a high opinion of popular sovereignty. Democracy too was an alien concept at this time. This was a document written for the elites, by the elites.”
Memo to @scotgov: “So what can the people of a country do if they want to be happier? The most important thing is to elect governments that will ensure the country becomes more equal by income. After that, ensuring your social services – school, housing and healthcare – are efficient and equitable matters most.”
“Constitutional change is unfinished business in the UK and will remain so until a lasting settlement can be agreed. Any state where a significant portion of its territory votes in large numbers for parties that wish to leave it has to ask questions of itself and find ways of alleviating the concerns of those voters.”
The Bryson case reveals a long-standing tension in Scottish prisons policy between gender self-identification principles and trauma-informed care. For the best part of a decade this contradiction has played out in plain sight, with minimal scrutiny, to the detriment of female offenders. That it has taken the case of a double rapist to bring it to the fore raises serious questions about political priorities as well as the susceptibility of public authorities to lobbying.
“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?