‘We end a year of sadness and sorrow with hope that 2021 will raise the overall level of ambition in Scotland, not just in terms of defeating the virus, but of paving the way for a society and economy that give the people a greater sense of belonging and sharing, that may act as a model beyond its borders, promote fairness and justice in international relations and help save the planet.’
‘…Scotland’s relatively normal politics and pro-European aspirations may look in many ways more in the contemporary political mainstream than Johnson’s past-its-sell-by-date Trumpism. And a more open attitude from the EU to an independent Scotland may impact to some degree on US views too. But hard realpolitik interests – whether in the US or EU – will always be there.’
‘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.’
The issue of which currency an independent Scotland would adopt has gone on the back-burner. But with a new poll showing 58% support for indy it deserves to move to the front…Economist/statistician Richard Marsh urges a wider debate.
Now that Johnson has reverted to talking of No Deal/WTO terms, is it time for Scotland to strike out on its own in relations with the EU (and the wider world)?
‘Faced with Westminster’s constitutional tinkering, independence may well appeal precisely because it looks less like a radical departure and more a restoration of sanity and normality—a factory reset rather than a clean slate’
“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
‘The potential shorter and longer-term economic transition and structural change Scotland faces as an independent state within the EU, while rUK is outside post-Brexit, needs careful economic analysis and an understanding of likely costs and benefits. What it does not need is a studied looking away from the challenging economics of a Scotland-rUK border.’
‘Once the public health crisis of COVID-19 is over, it might yet expose the flaws in this capital-led economy just as it has exposed the inadequacies of our public health systems that has suffered from under-investment over a decade of austerity.’
‘But the more we study COVID-19 the more the differences with influenza become evident. However, public pronouncements still take their cue from that virus, like the need to avoid a second wave that will swamp the NHS…time to stop using ‘flu as a useful model…’