“For the Scottish government to claim that this supersedes PISA – as they do in their statement today – is either disingenuous or evidence of dismaying statistical ignorance.” (Prof Lindsay Paterson)
“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.
‘It is perhaps under-recognised by many in the independence camp just how much support there was for the Union in 1707 among middle-class Scots. That support was based on a hunger for opportunity. But Brexit has reversed that – it means a big reduction in the degree of opportunity that Union with the rest of the UK once offered.’
“The quality of our democracy depends on the quality of the political debate within the public sphere. New campaigning techniques represent a real threat to both the debate and our democracy and something needs to be done urgently to address this problem.”
A doubly vaccinated Frances Allen ventures into the market place to meet the complex cultural attitudes of her adopted home: ‘a country which has a historic mistrust of vaccines.’
In his latest piece on the pandemic, Hugh Pennington examines inter alia how cuts in labs and scientists have helped damage our response to the coronavirus
‘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…’
Immigration is not the salient issue in GE2019 it was in GE2017 but Scotland’s need for significant net migration is stronger than ever – as Jonathan Portes and Graeme Roy discuss separately here.