‘…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.’
‘The outcome is indeed so vital for us all that the progress of the vaccination programme is the one topic that cannot be kicked into the long grass of some future Inquiry – and this knowledge must be shared as fully and as often as possible.’
‘A publicly run financial system investing in worker-owned firms would be a truly brave vision for Scotland’s economy – but do we have politicians who can see beyond the doom-laden horizons of Capitalist Realism?’ asks Ben Wray in a review of Varoufakis’s first foray into fiction.
‘Putting it bluntly, this kind of statistical amnesia will seem a little tawdry to anyone who invested belief and political capital in the First Minister’s approach.’ Our statistical expert ends the year of the pandemic as he began: savaging the misuse of data.
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘Many in the Yes movement support independence because they believe it offers a path towards a more progressive future. But the vision outlined in the Growth Commission delivers the opposite: it is difficult to conceive of an economic settlement better designed to ensure that government policy serves the interests of international finance rather than its own citizens.’
‘The draft constitution agreed by the Conference could then be part of the pledge on which the case for independence is made. If the people then vote for independence, the new Constitution could simply be adopted as a schedule to a future Scotland (Independence) Act passed by the UK Parliament.’
“The EU, of course, makes a mockery of sovereignty. It might be argued that Brexit is evidence of its enduring relevance. But what it really shows is the pernicious legacy of the myth. The UK is losing control of its affairs. The hope that a second Trump Administration would ensure a good trade deal with the US has been shattered but even had this happened it spoke of the UK as limited and accountable, more as the 51st state than having ‘taken back control’.”
‘The UK has, as Peter Hennessy has eloquently warned, a constitution that relies on the “good chaps theory of government”. That structure now looks incredibly vulnerable when faced with a prime minister and key advisers who reject the rules, lack self-restraint and engage in populist posturing. The result is sacrificial statecraft wrapped around a naive vision of populist technology. Ditch it now.’