A Way out of Madness

A Way out of Madness

Remember when people voted No in 2014 because Britain was a source of economic stability and political certainty? The idea that Britain was somehow ‘multicultural’ ‘open’ and outward-looking was actually believed. People arguing for self-determination were somehow ‘separatists’. It seems laughable now doesn’t it? But the main compelling argument that...

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China: Neo-Liberal Princelings Versus Populists

China: Neo-Liberal Princelings Versus Populists

CHINA is the world’s largest economy, with a GDP in 2017 of $23 trillion, based on purchasing power parity. By comparison, the EU (including Britain) clocked up $20 trillion and the United States came in a global third at $19 trillion. America’s diminished economic power explains a lot about Donald...

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Brillo’s Brexit and the Museum of Communist Terror

Brillo’s Brexit and the Museum of Communist Terror

An astonishing week of breakdown and breakthrough, clarity and exposure as forces of clandestine British power are revealed. At the heart of a nexus of think-tanks and media is Andrew Neil, the former UK Editor of the Economist, the Sunday Times, Executive Chairman of Sky Television, publisher of the Scotsman...

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War School: the Battle for Britain’s Children

War School: the Battle for Britain’s Children

War School looks at what Remembrance means for veterans of Britain’s many conflicts in the century since the end of the War To End All Wars and reveals how government policies are targeting ever younger children for future rectruitment into the armed forces. More details here.

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An Open Letter to BBC Scotland on Steve Bannon

An Open Letter to BBC Scotland on Steve Bannon

Dear Ms MacKinnon, Like thousands of licence fee payers across the country I am deeply concerned by BBC Scotland’s decision to support the upcoming News Xchange event featuring Steve Bannon. As an individual synonymous with white nationalism and the rise of racist, hate-fuelled politics I believe Mr Bannon’s inclusion is...

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Brexit Farce in Detail

Brexit Farce in Detail

As the Brexit ‘end game’ nears, here’s a devastating collection of facts about the organisational crisis, panic and flight, bureaucratic log-jam and a government overwhelmed by its own incompetence … Thread by @uk_domain_names: “Ok, it’s high time to look at the REAL effects of Brexit 1/50 # ” #marr #ridge...

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Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the Devil

In the days leading up to his joint commemoration of World War 1 with Theresa May, French President Macron publicly announced his interest in honouring France’s chief Vichy collaborator Marshal Philippe Pétain for his role in France’s WW1 war effort. A storm of public protest forced him to abandon the...

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The BBC, Fake News and Media Literacy

The BBC, Fake News and Media Literacy

This is from Jamie Bertlett, author of ‘The People Vs Tech’, ‘The Dark Net & Radicals’. Secrets of Silicon Valley. Follow him at @JamieJBartlett Thread by @JamieJBartlett: “The BBC is running a ‘fake news week’. To mark the occasion, I thought I’d do a thread. ‘Fake news’ is a very...

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Flipstones

Flipstones

“For all my family. For all my friends. Including you.” So goes the most heart-warming dedication to a poetry collection you’re likely to read this year. In his latest book, Flipstones, St Johnstone’s poet-in-residence Jim Mackintosh has caught the imaginations of so many, not only through the dazzling array of...

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Outrage over killing of journalists is essential

Outrage over killing of journalists is essential

In the week when the world watched Jim Acosta be attacked by the American president, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad looks at the the threat to journalism – and democracy – all over the world. It was rare for Marie Colvin to be daunted by danger. During Lebanon’s “war of the camps”,...

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Finding Radical Hope in Geopoetics

Finding Radical Hope in Geopoetics

This is the Annual Tony McManus Geopoetics Lecture 2018, given by Mairi McFadyen. See slides from the lecture here. For more on Geopoetics go here. For Tony McManus, who we are here celebrating today, the study of geopoetics and living a creative life were inseparable, each enriching the other. He...

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A Just Transition from Fossil Fuels to Environmental Justice

A Just Transition from Fossil Fuels to Environmental Justice

This new series by DeSmog UK A Just Transition: From Fossil Fuels to Environmental Justice charts the prospects and obstacles to the shift away from oil, gas and coal and explores the opportunity to create jobs in new clean industries, written by Christopher Silver and photography by Alan McCredie. Part...

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Beyond Oil, Scotland’s Challenge and Opportunity

Beyond Oil, Scotland’s Challenge and Opportunity

This new series by DeSmog UK A Just Transition: From Fossil Fuels to Environmental Justice charts the prospects and obstacles to the shift away from oil, gas and coal and explores the opportunity to create jobs in new clean industries, written by Christopher Silver and photography by Alan McCredie. Part...

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Carbeth, home of Scottish Hutting

Carbeth, home of Scottish Hutting

Carbeth, that thorn in the flesh of the authorities, that mother of hutting in Scotland, that unruly, community-minded bunch of diverse, hard-nosed and opinionated working people, has yet again been the subject of scrutiny; this time concerning hut prices, values and worth. In the light of a recent post in...

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Peronism in Trumpland

Peronism in Trumpland

One of the primary rules of neoliberalism is to cut government spending and shrink the size of the state, so public services can be privatised for private profit. Profits which, incidentally, usually end up centralised in big US investment banks. Thus US imperialism (via the IMF and World Bank) has...

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Lessons from Norway on Power and Democracy

Lessons from Norway on Power and Democracy

The third in the Nation series looking at Scotland’s northern neighbours, from Lesley Riddoch and Phantom Power, is in my opinion the best so far. It raises important questions about land ownership and democracy, about how structural engineering has a long-term impact on a country’s deeper sustainability, and crucially it...

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Soros, Scruton and the Hyperobject

Soros, Scruton and the Hyperobject

Conspiracies are part of a long tradition of paranoia in American politics from Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, to chemtrails, corn circles and Area 51. Timothy Morton called conspiracy the perfect example of a hyperobject – a word that describes those features of...

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Women of Independence: the Unexpected Legacy

Women of Independence: the Unexpected Legacy

“She was one of the main youth people… she comes across as a real slut online though.” I came across the pictures of another Yesser when someone sent me a link to a message board. On it, men were sharing photos of her photoshopped with sexually explicit writing scrawled across...

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Bannon, Grossart and Charlotte

Bannon, Grossart and Charlotte

As we await the arrival of Steve Bannon in Scotland, and denounce BBC Scotland BBC News for inviting him, it’s worth remembering the last time he came, and the background to that trip. In November 2016, senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi said of President-elect Trump’s decision to appoint Bannon: “There must...

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Grouse Shooting, Land and Power

Grouse Shooting, Land and Power

Revive – a radical new campaign which brings together social, environmental and animal welfare charities to reform Scotland’s grouse moors, is launching in Edinburgh tonight. This is a groundbreaking initiative created to challenge the intensive management of land across vast swathes of Scotland’s uplands. It promises to bring together the...

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Fascism is not an Idea to be Debated, It’s a set of Actions to be Fought

Fascism is not an Idea to be Debated, It’s a set of Actions to be Fought

“Fascism is not an Idea to be Debated, It’s a set of Actions to be Fought” (Aleksandar Hemon) This is why Nicola Sturgeon was absolutely right not to debate Bannon, and why the BBC is absolutely wrong to interview/ debate with Banks. As Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said in...

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Superbia, Ur Fascism and Britannia

Superbia, Ur Fascism and Britannia

Earlier this week a US commentator, Steve Schmidt, described President Trump’s exploitation of the migrant ‘Caravan’ issue as ‘Trump’s Reichstag fire’ and declared that ‘40% of the country have opted into an alternative reality’. Estimates for Britain are not currently available, but can’t be far off. With the brutal revelations...

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Misdirection

Misdirection

The week has been filled with recriminations and hand-wringing after the violent pantomime that was the Edinburgh derby. Once again there was trouble at Tynecastle, once again Neil Lennon was attacked, once again ‘commentators’ (including Gary Caldwell live on BBC Radio Scotland) repeated the idea that he was “bringing it...

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Telling the Missing Stories of Working Class Culture in Cinema: ‘Peterloo’ and ‘Nae Pasaran’

Telling the Missing Stories of Working Class Culture in Cinema: ‘Peterloo’ and ‘Nae Pasaran’

It is a rare occasion when two films are released on the same day about working class histories of Britain. This weekend sees such a situation with the release of Mike Leigh’s much awaited ‘Peterloo’ and Felipe Butos Sierra’s ‘Nae Pasaran’. ‘Peterloo’ is the story of the infamous massacre at...

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Creag nan Uamh

Creag nan Uamh

The stag knew I was there. He could smell me but it didn’t discourage him. He stood at the mouth of the cave and roared. I was inside the bell of his voice, the cave ringing with it. It was dark, but there was moon enough to mark the shadow...

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It is Easy to be Dead

It is Easy to be Dead

In this centenary year of the end of World War 1, writer and producer, Bréon Rydell, was determined that the life and work of Charles Hamilton Sorley, should not be forgotten. Kevin Williamson spoke with him as an important new play about the unjustly neglected Scottish poet prepares to open...

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Scottish Investment Bank Gets Closer

Scottish Investment Bank Gets Closer

Plans to create the state-owned Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) are getting closer, thanks to the SNP government. The legislation to set up SNIB should go to Holyrood in February or March next year and the bank could open its doors in 2020. That’s a fast-track by in legislative terms...

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Brazil Unites Against Bolsonaro

Brazil Unites Against Bolsonaro

Jonathon Shafi reports direct from Brazil as resistance and protest mounts against the Bolsonaro regime. Just two days after the election of Bolsonaro we have seen the first expression of resistance to the attacks on democracy and civil rights that lie ahead. Brazilians took to the streets in towns and...

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Pods of Choice: Fake News Jenny Jones and Angry Scotland

Pods of Choice: Fake News Jenny Jones and Angry Scotland

Scottish podcasts are flourishing in some weird inverse relationship to the crapness of our radio broadcasting. Each week we profile two of the best. The fantastic Fake News Cast interviews Dr Jennifer Jones here about citizens journalism, social media, and media literacy … and the Angry Scotland team...

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Resisting Bannon, Fighting Fascism, Demanding Democracy

Resisting Bannon, Fighting Fascism, Demanding Democracy

“Fascism begins as something in the air. Stealthy as smoke in the darkness, easier to smell than to see. Fascism sets out an ethos, not a set of policies; appeals to emotion, not fact. It begins as a pose, often a deceptive one. It likes propaganda, dislikes truth, and invests...

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The Cheviot, the Stag and the Peacock

The Cheviot, the Stag and the Peacock

I know that with our frazzled attention span reduced to a few moments we are already whizzing on to the next spectacle-meme and Larysa Switlyk (‘Unleashed’) is already a fleeting memory. But the reactions are worth noticing, even our finest writers are confused. Alex Massie, reverts to his go-to line...

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Where is Scotland’s Peterloo?

Where is Scotland’s Peterloo?

This week sees the cinematic release of Peterloo, a £14m dramatisation of the infamous 1819 massacre of Mancunian protestors for political reform. Its director Mike Leigh, speaking at its Edinburgh preview, said he was unavoidably conscious of modern parallels during its production. Establishment avarice and callousness. The brutality of war...

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Bolsonaro, Brazil on the Brink

Bolsonaro, Brazil on the Brink

The situation in Brazil could not be more serious. The consequences of the election tonight are grave for black people, women, the LGBTQ community and the whole left. Democracy is at stake. The rainforest and indigenous lands are on a platter for the multinationals. And the neoliberals are behind the...

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What is Choice?

What is Choice?

When no-one in the ruling elite actually believes in anything other than their own right to rule, history shows that freedom usually comes after the spilling of much blood. Nothing of social value is given to the majority from autocratic oligarchs in decline. It has to be taken before the...

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Spreadsheet Phil’s Budget

Spreadsheet Phil’s Budget

MONDAY sees Chancellor Philip Hammond’s 2018 Budget. The old spring affair has been shifted to year’s end, in the hope it will make it easier to coordinate government tax and spending with the start of each new fiscal year, come April. Dream on, Phil. With a final Brexit deal still...

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Sheep Hunter

Sheep Hunter

The furore over the Americans hunting on Islay shines a useful light on this bizarre and macabre activity. But the more significant pair in this picture (right) are not the unfortunate Larysa and Jason but the figures on the left. We are used to seeing hunter pics shared and condemned...

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Media Climate

Media Climate

Much of the traditional media just can’t cope with the realty of climate breakdown. It doesn’t know how to respond to the scale of such a crisis, it can’t de-couple itself from the hegemonic norms of growth and all the things we’re told – and tell ourselves – are good....

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Questions Raised about the Battle of Ideas

Questions Raised about the Battle of Ideas

The Battle of Ideas – what James Delingpole calls “the annual festival of free speech” is upon us in London, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham – and across Europe. Free speech is a great thing and the people promote this ‘Battle of Ideas’ have been promoting the “right to be...

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A Radical Plan for Gaelic Scotland

A Radical Plan for Gaelic Scotland

When a group of likeminded individuals set up the group Misneachd (confidence, courage) a little over two years ago, there was a strong feeling that a new grassroots movement was needed to campaign for Gaelic, and more importantly, for Gaelic communities. It was apparent that little had changed since the...

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Who’s Making this Possible?

Who’s Making this Possible?

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was quite right to pull out of the News XChange event next month and quite right to accuse the organisers of the risk of “legitimising or normalising far-right, racist views”. She was critical of the BBC for an attempt to justify Bannon’s inclusion at the...

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Ireland: the Mirror in which England Misunderstands Herself

Ireland: the Mirror in which England Misunderstands Herself

One of the great appeals of the Sealed Knot Of The Churchilliad is that every suburban one of us can be a Winston in their turn. And in the fools’ folly of this Churchillian Autumn Brexit I get my turn to lugubriously intone “as the Brexit deluge subsides and the...

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The Peoples Temple

The Peoples Temple

As the Brexit crisis stalks the Conservative Party and this weeks developments make a No Deal settlement seem more and more likely, the full extent of the looming national disaster becomes clear. David Mundell increasingly looks like a latter-day Jim Jones, leading his Peoples Temple to drink the Kool Aid...

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Park Life

Park Life

Much is made of the fact that when you arrive in Edinburgh you arrive in a novel. The monument to Walter Scott in Princes Street Gardens is the largest monument to a writer in the world, which is strange given you’d be pushed to find a single person who has...

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Secret Dreams, Hidden Rage

Secret Dreams, Hidden Rage

What if I told you there was a woman who knew magic? A woman with a restless sea rising inside her, an inner flame so scintillating her bones glow with it, a woman whose words cannot be contained by a book, but ripple through it, up your hand and into...

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Trump: Follow the Money

Trump: Follow the Money

THERE’S a scene in the classic 1976 movie All the President’s Men when Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward (aka Robert Redford) says to his source Deep Throat regarding the Watergate break-in: “The story is dry. All we’ve got are pieces. But we can’t seem to figure out what the puzzle...

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This is It

This is It

This is it: Major fundraising drive to get indy support beyond 50% of Scots voters launches today. The independence movement has today seen the launch of a major fundraising drive on to set up the campaign organisation that aims to take support for independence consistently beyond 50% in the polls....

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Skye High Tourism

Skye High Tourism

Highland Council estimates that there were over 660,000 visitors to the Isle of Skye in 2017, on an island where there are only 10,000 permanent residents. Airbnb has over 500 listings across the island – where there are only 5000 homes on Skye. Stark figures at the heart of the...

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Moving to Yes

Moving to Yes

Iain Black, researcher for the Scottish Independence Convention, outlines the findings from exclusive new voter research they have commissioned ahead of their re-launch this week. Considering where we are on this road to independence, the most difficult task we currently face is not winning a referendum but getting the chance...

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The Laughter

The Laughter

The macabre spectacle of patriarchy and white power spooling out across the worlds screens from America in the past few weeks seems like a fast-forward distillation of American gender history: veering from glimpses of the frat boy sex romp of Porky’s to the financial violence of the Wolf of Wall...

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Generalist Lee

Generalist Lee

Poet Iona Lee is next up in our Creative Scotland series (see previous Lorna Miller and Shaun Milne). Lee is a poet, visual artist and performer who stormed the spoken word scene when she was seventeen and, in 2016, won the title of Scottish Slam Champion. Lyrical svengali Michael Pedersen...

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