The Road not Taken, the Road Still Open

The Road not Taken, the Road Still Open

Sitting down to ponder again the impact of Paulo Freire’s work in Britain in the more than forty years since we first encountered it raises a storm of memories and emotions. To begin with, it would be churlish to deny that the allied victory over Fascism in the second world...

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Living in a 1970s concept album

Living in a 1970s concept album

Meet the new plan, the same as the old plan. Even though the Prime Minister has been utterly humiliated, she keeps going on. Theresa is missing the shame gene. It is now clear that Theresa May is giving the UK a lesson in masochism. It’s about the only sense in...

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Estonia: Digital Utopia or Orwellian Dystopia?

Estonia: Digital Utopia or Orwellian Dystopia?

THERE is much hyping of the notion Scotland should emulate Baltic Estonia and become a “digital frontier”. Recently, Angus Robertson was using his National column to laud the idea of “Scottish digital citizenship” on the Estonian model. I’m all for embracing new technology. But there is a bit of me...

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Reforming Local Democracy in an Independent Scotland

Reforming Local Democracy in an Independent Scotland

British politics is currently consumed in madness. Turn on your TV and it will be Brexit. Turn on your radio and it will be Brexit. Walk into a café and listen to a local political preacher ramble on about, you guessed it, Brexit. Yet within the realms of the Yes...

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The pros and cons of Nicola Sturgeon’s Indyref strategy

The pros and cons of Nicola Sturgeon’s Indyref strategy

It seems everyone and their dog has advice to give to Nicola Sturgeon on the timing of a second independence referendum. They range from the credible – Alex Salmond insists now is the time – to the rather less than credible – Jim Sillars urges caution. Within the SNP ranks...

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The temple of doom

The temple of doom

It’s being reported today (Sunday) that the British Government finds it “extremely concerning” that MPs are trying to delay Article 50 in order to avoid a no deal. It’s a bit like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull when our hero and his chums...

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This Script

This Script

Jenny Lindsay was one half of the mythical Rally and Broad is the author of Ire and Salt and is the founder and director of Flint and Pitch a platform for emerging, Scottish spoken word, theatre, live literature and music acts. ‘This Script’ is a part univocal poem in, and...

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The Authentic Andy Murray

The Authentic Andy Murray

“Maybe, I’ll see you again” In classic Andy Murray fashion, after the downcast press conference, the worldwide tributes and the schmaltzy retirement video by his fellow pros, he gave us all something to cling onto. This week he’s expected to announce if he’ll go ahead with a hip resurfacing operation,...

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How can BBC Scotland regain trust if it broadcasts anti-SNP garbage such as this?

How can BBC Scotland regain trust if it broadcasts anti-SNP garbage such as this?

On Saturday January 19th Good Morning Scotland broadcast a discussion featuring two journalists. The segment lasted over 11 minutes. Listeners heard Iain Macwhirter of The Herald and David Clegg of the Daily Record attack the SNP with a stream of quite outlandish claims. So bizarre were some of the claims...

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Chris Cairns is on holiday

Chris Cairns is on holiday

Yes, still. Yes, again. But don’t worry, we still have a cartoon joke for you. Ladies and gentlemen, the Scottish Labour Party.

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Chasing Imperial Virility with Enoch Powell and Oliver’s Army

Chasing Imperial Virility with Enoch Powell and Oliver’s Army

This week saw the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of the Union, on January 16 1707. The past 24 hours (never mind the previous 312 years) has put such a strain on the Union that it seems at breaking point. The slow draining of the last residual respect...

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The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast : Jan 18

The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast : Jan 18

The second edition of The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast featuring yours truly and Callum Baird, editor of The National. This week we discuss the events in Westminster and the growing impetus for Scotland to have a say on its future. And we also talk about the dog’s bollocks. As you...

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The Prisoners

The Prisoners

You wouldn’t know it to watch the black-hole-scale mess our politicians are making of it, but the thing about Brexit is that it ISN’T an insoluble problem. That two of the supposed “partners” in the United Kingdom are being forced out of the EU against the will of their people...

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Real Cost of No Deal #4

Real Cost of No Deal #4

As part of our expanding series on the future of health for the UK, as we move closer to a conclusion to Brexit, we’re examining the cost of a no-deal Brexit to various aspects of healthcare. If you’re interested in joining our campaign to protect healthcare in an independent Scotland...

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Real Cost of No Deal #3

Real Cost of No Deal #3

As part of our expanding series on the future of health for the UK, as we move closer to a conclusion to Brexit, we’re examining the cost of a no-deal Brexit to various aspects of healthcare. If you’re interested in joining our campaign to protect healthcare in an independent Scotland...

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Friday Pods of Choice

Friday Pods of Choice

While we labour away mining in the audio caves to bring you our very own Bella podcast, here’s three very different ones to keep you going. Episode 16 from the Nutmeg podcast: a football & music special with Grant Hutchison from @FRabbits James Graham of @thetwilightsad & Mike Palmer from...

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The Return of the Barrastinian – Wake Up and Smell the Covfefe

The Return of the Barrastinian – Wake Up and Smell the Covfefe

He’s back! A Friday treat of Mixcloud melodies from the way outers, its Neil MacNeil from Barra with a mix-tape for your weekend … More music from Bella with Mixcloud streams and compilations here – and more guest-selected playlists for Spotify here.

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Real Cost of No Deal #2

Real Cost of No Deal #2

As part of our expanding series on the future of health for the UK, as we move closer to a conclusion to Brexit, we’re examining the cost of a no-deal Brexit to various aspects of healthcare. If you’re interested in joining our campaign to protect healthcare in an independent Scotland...

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Real Cost of No Deal #1

Real Cost of No Deal #1

As part of our expanding series on the future of health for the UK, as we move closer to a conclusion to Brexit, we’re examining the cost of a no-deal Brexit to various aspects of healthcare. If you’re interested in joining our campaign to protect healthcare in an independent Scotland...

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Gillette and Occam’s Razor

Gillette and Occam’s Razor

If Brexit represents a country having a nervous breakdown, ravaged by identity crisis and hyper-nostalgia, incapable of understanding itself and confused about its role in the world, Piers Morgan personifies this spasm of moronic populism. Morgan, who readers will recall was sacked for publishing faked photographs of troops torturing Iraqi...

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The Ice Queen’s sandcastle

The Ice Queen’s sandcastle

After the devastating defeat of the government’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, came Wednesday’s vote of confidence called by Jeremy Corbyn. As expected, those Tories who voted down the central policy of their own government yesterday lined up to support it today. They might hate Theresa May’s deal, but they hate...

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The great defeat

The great defeat

After delays, prevarications, and attempts to sideline Parliament, Theresa May finally put her deal to the House of Commons on Tuesday. Theresa May never wanted this vote. She wanted to ram her deal through Parliament without any vote at all. Today we discovered just why she was so reluctant to...

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Why Brexit is Bad for Health

Why Brexit is Bad for Health

As the country waits with bated breath at the outcome of tonight’s ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit it is worth remembering that no Brexit is good for healthcare in the UK. Our infographic highlights the major areas that Brexit will impact on health, and nothing on the table at present mitigates...

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Why Brexit is Bad for Our Health

Why Brexit is Bad for Our Health

As the country waits with bated breath at the outcome of tonight’s ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit it is worth remembering that no Brexit is good for healthcare in the UK. Our infographic highlights the major areas that Brexit will impact on health, and nothing on the table at present mitigates...

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On French Protest Culture and Brexit from Brittany

On French Protest Culture and Brexit from Brittany

Ever since a child, I have seen images of protests relayed from France invariably appearing on the BBC. You know the ones, burning tyres and tractors blocking roads. Yes, there were regular reports of other protests from around the globe, but it seemed like there was a particular focus on...

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Neon Fascism and the Cult of Heroic Failure

Neon Fascism and the Cult of Heroic Failure

After Brexit, and the weird fissures of Empire Loyalism it has laid open, not only is the sense of a unified coherent ‘Britain’ now just laughable, but the idea of a unified coherent British ‘people’ is implausible. So the constant evocation of “the people” as a force is an immeasurably...

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The Great British Pseudocracy

The Great British Pseudocracy

Theresa May is currently engaged in a competition with Donald Trump to see which of the two of them can get away with the most lies. If she is in a competition with Trump, she’s narrowly in the lead. It’s the only plausible explanation for the Prime Minister’s curious lack...

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Out of the quagmire

Out of the quagmire

UK politics is stuck fast in the mud, going nowhere, and the casualties are mounting. Whether on Brexit, independence or anything else, we’ve all become so dug-in to our positions that some people – naming no names – have forgotten where the battle lines are or what their political war...

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The Prime Minister is a lying idiot

The Prime Minister is a lying idiot

The extremely sharp and perceptive New Statesman writer Stephen Bush buries some of his political insight in a daily email newsletter (because, we assume, his fax machine doesn’t work, you can’t send telegrams any more and London flats don’t have enough room to keep a lot of messenger pigeons or...

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The Sturgeon smear is a perfect example of why so many Scots don’t trust Scotland’s MSM

The Sturgeon smear is a perfect example of why so many Scots don’t trust Scotland’s MSM

Alex Salmond won his court case against the Scottish government last week. The court ruled that the investigation carried out by the Scottish civil service was unlawful. Salmond, as he was fully entitled to do, called on those responsible for botching the investigation to consider...

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Paradise Regained: Some Notes on the Idea of Reversals

Paradise Regained: Some Notes on the Idea of Reversals

The idea of workers’ control has fallen off the agenda but an independent Scotland could put us back on the radical road, writes Paul Tritschler. There is an illusion in the field of psychology known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. It refers to low ability individuals who confidently believe they have...

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Scenting blood

Scenting blood

The Scottish media pack has got itself a bone, and it’s going to chew it. And chew it. Lost amonst the vast tundra-like acreage of the Scottish media’s coverage of Alex Salmond, there was an article this week entitled Alex Salmond Is Looking For Blood. And I thought to myself,...

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Meanwhile in the Scottish media

Meanwhile in the Scottish media

Nicola Sturgeon attended a meeting of the SNP NEC yesterday. Or maybe she didn’t. One of these people/publications, inescapably, is flat-out lying to their readers about the event in question. Given the Scottish media’s ingrained habit of lying about pretty much everything almost all of the time, we honestly wouldn’t...

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Guest Editor Opportunity

Guest Editor Opportunity

We’re excited to announce the return of our Guest Editor position over the next few months. The idea is to make way for some fresh commissioning, to create fresh networks and unearth new writers and contacts. We also want to to begin to address issues of diversity and equality in...

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Is the threat of a teacher strike about politics or pay?

Is the threat of a teacher strike about politics or pay?

For as long as I can recall the EIS has threatened a teacher strike in Scotland. The first I seem to recall was in 2008, a year after the SNP won its first Holyrood election . The strike threat ran in parallel with claims from the EIS that teachers...

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The Wealth of the Nation: Scotland, Culture and the Nation

The Wealth of the Nation: Scotland, Culture and the Nation

THE WEALTH OF THE NATION: SCOTLAND, CULTURE AND INDEPENDENCE by Cairns Craig, Edinburgh University Press (2018) Cairns Craig is a leading scholar in Scottish and modernist literature. He has been Professor of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen since 2005. Before that, he taught at the University...

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A Golden Dawn at the Spectator

A Golden Dawn at the Spectator

As the right and the far-right enjoy a Brexit mind-meld it’s causing for some problems for the BBC’s highest people. Steve Peers analyses the crisis at The Spectator … Thread by @StevePeers: “1/ In principle, I agree there’s an obvious distinction between publishing something and agreeing with it. After all,...

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When May loses on Tuesday, there will be nowhere left to Hide

When May loses on Tuesday, there will be nowhere left to Hide

I’m saddened to see @HackneyAbbott doubling down on Labour leadership backing Brexit. Time for members and supporters to sign this. Members and supporters overwhelmingly want a @peoplesvote_uk https://t.co/sV06tqcCOD — Ian Murray (@IanMurrayMP) 11 January 2019 My response: I’ve been re-reading Hugo Young’s “This Sacred Plot” which is a wonderfully written...

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Could a No Budget Deal Trigger a Holyrood Brexit Election?

Could a No Budget Deal Trigger a Holyrood Brexit Election?

AS I write, the Holyrood budget for 2019-2020 still has not been agreed. Of course, with the SNP government in a minority, there is always an annual negotiation involving the minor parties, in order to secure a deal to get the budget passed. It has been this way since Alex...

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The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast

The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast

Every Friday I’ll now be doing a podcast for The National which will be published on the newspaper’s site, and which I’ll also be sharing here. So now instead of reading my rants, you’ll get to hear my not-so-dulcet tones every Friday. You can help to support this blog with...

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The Establishment and How they Get Away with It

The Establishment and How they Get Away with It

Owen Jones may be a bit of a Marmite figure, but, as we’ve said before “As a rule of thumb anyone being smeared or attacked by the media is probably doing something quite useful. “ Jones – author of Chavs, the Demonisation of the Working Class – and The Establishment:...

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All change in Moray

All change in Moray

Blimey, that was quick. This was Tory MP Douglas Ross yesterday: Short version: “I don’t care what my constituents want, I will vote loyally for the party I was elected as a member of.” And this is him today: Never let it be said Wings readers don’t get things done.

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An Atlas of Opportunity, putting Scotland at the centre of the map

An Atlas of Opportunity, putting Scotland at the centre of the map

A review copy of a book was delivered when I was away visiting my husband in the USA over Christmas and the New Year. Unfortunately I didn’t get it sooner, as it would have been ideal for readers to purchase as a Christmas present.

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What is an Environment Correspondent?

What is an Environment Correspondent?

You might think that this is a trick question. An Environment Correspondent is supposed to report on the live issues and news relating to the environment, and to have, one would assume, some passing knowledge of the key environmental issues of the day. As the best funded and globally networked...

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Sock washing and constitutional crises

Sock washing and constitutional crises

So you finally get around to doing the pile of washing that’s been staring at you in the dirty clothes basket since you got back from your holidays, you make a proper dent on the housework, go to the supermarket, all those wee chores that you’ve been putting off, and...

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The mess we’ve made

The mess we’ve made

Last night the UK government which, while largely symbolic, was designed to hamper its ability to generate its finances in the event of a no-deal Brexit (and therefore to try to incentivise it to avoid a no-deal). A handful of Tory MPs voted for the motion, combining with the opposition...

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Brass neck gleaming

Brass neck gleaming

Wow. That’s Monica Lennon sat directly behind him, by the way. That must have taken some amount of polishing. And yes, if you’re wondering, that last one is THIS Rhoda Grant:

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The problem with Holyrood

The problem with Holyrood

This year the Scottish Parliament becomes 20 years old. For the past 20 years Scotland has had a forum to express its national will, we have seen a parliament restored to our capital city and for the first time in the history of this ancient nation the people have enjoyed...

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