‘Two years after the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s book, I see a resurgence in Utopian thinking in many countries and fear we could be on verge of taking a collective voyage to nowhere once again.’ Part One (of three) of an essay on utopia, millennialism, freedom, society, human nature – and Scotland.
‘Marx therefore helps us make sense of modern power relations after all. Then, as now, there is no contradiction between capitalism and crisis: it is a process of historical development and economic transition within the system.’
‘When the UK government reneged on the Child Poverty Act 2010 with its goal of eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020, Scotland dissented and set about introducing an equivalent goal for Scotland.’
The long term-aim must be to return to a society where houses are viewed as somewhere to live, not as vehicles for accumulating wealth. This can’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy. The task involves taking on the unholy alliance of private developers, banks and – most difficult of all – ordinary homeowners, many of whom now view ever rising house prices as normal and just.
‘(McGarvey’s) aware that many on the left will see this as a cop out but he’s ready with his reply. Of course, the left must continue to argue and campaign for structural change, he tells us, but no real change can happen unless poor people begin to feel powerful in their own lives.
So much of McGarvey’s analysis comes from personal experience, not from theories and books…it has a freshness which reminds me of early Enlightenment thinkers: Carol Craig reviews Poverty Safari
Nothing in education is simple. Professor Emer Smyth throws light on the complex interplay between gender and class at school and urges special investment in support for working class boys.
Liberty and equality are both desirable, but too much of one can lead to too little of the other. Fraternity – the value of face to face relationships of respect and affection – can help establish a fair balance along with equity. In the third extract from Working for Equality the author pleads the case for a leaving certificate of equal value for all.
Scaling up successful interventions absorbs time and energy – and money – we can ill afford. Is there a way of making social and public policy more efficient as well as more effective?” In the second extract from Working for Equality Helen Chambers urges a different, more effective approach to policy.
In 2015 Professor Richard Freeman from the Academy of Government at Edinburgh Uni convened a group to discuss inequality. In 2017, after much further debate, all 22 participants contributed to a Postcards from Scotland book called Working for Equality: Policy, politics, people edited by Richard Freeman, Fiona McHardy and Danny Murphy. In the first of three extracts Philip Cooke reflects on the vital role of respect.