“Perhaps it would be nice to be a degree or two warmer than today’s 16C. But every day brings news of the burning reality of climate change in blistering heatwaves reaching 50C in many places across the world.”
“a revaluation is necessary. Indeed, it should be a prerequisite…To continue without revaluation is deeply unfair and to take forward reforms without a revaluation just rubs salt into the wounds.”
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.
“The illegal migration bill comes just a year after Patel led the passage of the Nationality and Borders Act. Both policies are designed to keep out outsiders, many of whom are black or brown. It is contradictory that the ministers responsible for these policies are descendants of immigrants themselves.”
“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.”
“One by one aspects of what the CFS did were closed down or were taken back under the aegis of the council. The times changed. Austerity, unemployment, and drugs bit hard here. The Festival Society gradually declined, and so did the sense of community.”
“Labour took up the anti-centralising rhetoric originally coined by Unionists and turned it against the Thatcher government in the 1980s, portraying its neoliberal policies as an illegitimate affront to Scottish national traditions. At the same time, Labour in Scotland emphasised the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine whether they wanted to be governed by a devolved parliament within the UK. A rhetoric that had initially been coined to glue together an anti-Labour electoral coalition had now become a staple of the Scottish left.” No more?
“For the last few years, the British state has at least been able to pretend that a Labour government might come over the horizon, and solve some of the problems created by the Tories and their austerity. If and when that cavalry does arrive, it will likely come in the flaccid form of Keir Starmer, triangulating towards a far-right Tory opposition. A Sinn Féin-run Ireland may not have to work too hard to convince voters that they are better off under its wings.”
“The bracken is part of an ecosystem. There are shrews and voles and moles in there as well as millions of spiders at every level of the bracken. There is funghi under the canopy. The rhizome root system is linked to the trees and the other plants. The ground is not compacted under bracken as it can be in bare fields. The organic matter that falls on it enriches the soil and the top soil is thin here so that matters. We believe in working with the ecosystem – not trying to poison it.”