Denying Oxygen to White Nationalism – Media Myths of Bannon

Denying Oxygen to White Nationalism – Media Myths of Bannon

Steve Bannon’s appearance at the News Xchange journalism conference in Edinburgh was always going to be controversial. Despite public and political scepticism – including first minister Nicola Sturgeon pulling out of the event in protest – an interview with the BBC’s Sarah Smith went ahead on 14 November. The conference...

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The Disneyfication of Edinburgh

The Disneyfication of Edinburgh

Gordon Robertson, chair of Marketing Edinburgh, elected by nobody, has called for the “Disneyfication of Edinburgh”. This is a process well under way. As the conflict between highly paid and unelected individuals and the residents of a city (aka citizens) becomes more sharply defined – as the stakes of conflict...

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Hard Choices For Us Gnats

Hard Choices For Us Gnats

The Great Crash Of ’29 by JK Galbraith has the grim line “the end had arrived but was not yet visible”. We are past that now with Brexit, something ominous looms in the mist. It is (probably) already too late to avoid a chaotic No Deal. Where does the quickening...

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From Katowice to 1.5

From Katowice to 1.5

Richard Dixon looks back on the UN climate conference and the enormous challenges ahead. See how easily we could have solved the climate crisis if we had started in 2000! Only 4% reduction per year. Now we need 18% per year. You can thank climate deniers, lobby groups and cowardly...

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Project Ruth and the People’s Vote

Project Ruth and the People’s Vote

The Scottish Tories are about to back a Peoples Vote according to the New Statesman’s Chris Deerin. Except they’re not, according to Jackson Carlaw their stand-in leader. In a forthright rebuttal the Eastwood MSP said: “Complete & utter bollocks! On behalf of @RuthDavidsonMSP, I can confirm that neither of us...

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A Celebration of Sixty Years of Scottish CND – Scotland: A Peace of History

A Celebration of Sixty Years of Scottish CND – Scotland: A Peace of History

Scottish CND are launching a mobile exhibition featuring sixty years of the anti-nuclear movement in Scotland this Saturday (15th December 2018 at the M)itchell Library. The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has created a mobile exhibition of a visual timeline with accompanying video testimonies from key figures in the nuclear...

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Portraying BP – Art Not Oil in Edinburgh

Portraying BP – Art Not Oil in Edinburgh

As the annual climate talks in Katowice end, after a fortnight of stalling by companies masquerading as countries and mass corporate greenwash, so begins the BP Portrait Award in Edinburgh: “The BP Portrait Award is the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world and represents the very best in...

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Why We Need a Constitution (Now)

Why We Need a Constitution (Now)

I attended the launch of the Scottish Constitution on 1st December in Glasgow. I have to say the attendance was disappointing but, in the light of my own views and those of many others, it was perhaps not surprising. There is a general feeling among supporters of the drive for...

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Scottish Budget: Round One to Derek

Scottish Budget: Round One to Derek

Financial Secretary Derek Mackay has announced his draft Scottish budget for 2019-20. This is a first offering as the minority SNP government at Holyrood needs support from a third party (i.e. the Greens) to get Mackay’s budget through in the early spring. What’s on offer? Mackay has made a reasonable...

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Fun and Games at Brexmas

Fun and Games at Brexmas

The season of pantomimes is upon us once again, and this promises to be a spectacular year. For not only will our traditional seasonal comedies take place in theatres across the land but a new production is planned: Brexmas, produced and written by the latest comedy team, the Barking Duds...

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Lessons from Chomsky at 90

Lessons from Chomsky at 90

This week Noam Chomsky turned 90. Here Nathan J Robinson’s writes ’13 Lessons from Chomsky’: “If I were to summarize the main points I’ve taken from Chomsky’s writings and talks, they would be this: You should have both compassion and consistency, care about freedom and fairness alike, and be rational,...

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Some Problems with Sleep in the Park

Some Problems with Sleep in the Park

This year, once again, we’re going to “solve homelessness forever” according to the social enterprise Social Bite. The problem is of course that we were going to solve it forever last year as well. The model of a mass sleep out promises “4 cities, one night, 12,000 people under the...

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The Breakup of Britain

The Breakup of Britain

It’s a thorny old cliché that Scotland couldn’t manage the breakup of Britain by itself. Brexit has ushered in the conditions where England can now do a lot of the heavy lifting. As we (rightly) worry about food shortages, reckless deregulation and logistic chaos, we shouldn’t lose sight of the...

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Two Mixes

Two Mixes

Two new mixes from Optimo’s Keith McIvor for your weekend. The last in Phonica’s 2018 Mix Series is a 75-minute long recording: The second is a “rock lesson” for the Diggers Directory: Tracklist Judas Priest – Living After Midnight (Twitch bonus Beats) Atomic Rooster – Play It Again (Twitch Edit)...

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Two New Mixes

Two New Mixes

Two new mixes from Optimo’s Keith McIvor for your weekend. The last in Phonica’s 2018 Mix Series is a 75-minute long recording: The second is a “rock lesson” for the Diggers Directory: Tracklist Judas Priest – Living After Midnight (Twitch bonus Beats) Atomic Rooster – Play It Again (Twitch Edit)...

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RBS Not Off the Hook Over GRG Scandal

RBS Not Off the Hook Over GRG Scandal

LAST July the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the main UK regulator of the lending industry, announced it would take no disciplinary action against RBS over the outrageous activities of the bank’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG), the internal unit that was supposed to turn around “struggling” businesses. In reality, after the...

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Contempt and Humiliation

Contempt and Humiliation

Sarah Vine tells us in the Daily Mail that she and Michael Gove have a new dog. It’s a puppy called Brussels Griffon. If that factoid doesn’t distract you from the unfolding shitfest then I don’t know what will. Just when you thought the Brexit debacle couldn’t get any worse...

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Confronting the Roots of Brexit

Confronting the Roots of Brexit

The roots of Brexit need to be confronted, not just the pantomime of British government, argues Peter McColl. Yesterday’s events seem to make both a hard Brexit, and – indeed – any Brexit less likely. But we need to think deeper and broader than the all-consuming ‘politicians as celebrities’ approach...

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Who Represents You?

Who Represents You?

What is it that defines who you are? Think about it. There is something that sets you apart from others. Maybe it’s how you take your tea, the type of broadsheet you read, who you love or whether you pray to something beyond this world. What sets you apart might...

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Haud Yer Wheesht?

Haud Yer Wheesht?

Ivery weekend, ye’ll find me at mercats in Embra, sellin ma airt. Whilst it’s hoo ah earn a livin, ah didnae choose tae mak airt celebratin Scotland’s culture, language an history as a money makker. A chose tae dae it acause ah ken those are things maist o us were...

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NATO and an Independent Scotland

NATO and an Independent Scotland

​The issue of nuclear weapons and an independent Scotland is one of the most hotly contested questions concerning independence. The Scottish National Party has made its opposition to nuclear weapons a primary point in arguing the case for an independent state. The argument has usually been made in terms of...

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Ayont the Fake and the Leal: Let’s Free the Leid

Ayont the Fake and the Leal: Let’s Free the Leid

“This guy is faking it and I literally am struggling to listen to it.” “I’m from Scotland, trust me, nobody talks like this.” “The boy doesnae sound like he’s speaking Scots naturally he makes it sound pure put-on and that’s the point that folk start to take the piss and...

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Brexit Means Genetically Modified Food

Brexit Means Genetically Modified Food

This week the Times announced the nominally Scottish Environment Minister declaring “a genetic food revolution”. Gove told something called the Country Land and Business Association: “Even if there are individual lobby groups that express their legitimate concerns we will ensure those scientific tools are there for those who can improve...

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Grouse. Blood Sports. Land

Grouse. Blood Sports. Land

Almost a fifth of Scotland is managed for grouse shooting. The true extent of grouse moors in Scotland is unclear but they are estimated to cover somewhere between 1 million and 1.5 million hectares, between 12-18% of our country’s landmass. The very fact that we don’t know for sure shows...

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Are Hi Tech FANGS Losing Their Bite?

Are Hi Tech FANGS Losing Their Bite?

THE Brits have been so self-absorbed with Brexit over the last week that they haven’t noticed what’s happening beyond the media fog in the Channel. For the world in general, the ongoing wobble in US high tech stocks may yet prove more dangerous than anything that happens to the UK...

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The Magical Kingdom

The Magical Kingdom

As the Prime Minister tours her United Kingdom the level of estrangement, disaffection and political bad feeling is unparalleled. In banning a newspaper they didn’t like, the No 10’s press team is operating like a Sarah Huckabee Sanders tribute act. It provoked statements of solidarity from journalists including Paul Mason,...

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Scot Free -The Psychic Cost O Uisin Scots

Scot Free -The Psychic Cost O Uisin Scots

Growin up in a Yorkshire minin village durin the 80’s, ah wis never encouraged awfy muckle tae think aboot faur-aff, exotic places like Scotland. It wis a place that existit in adverts, cairtoons an wather reports, an that wis it, really. Every nou and again ye’d get a kid in...

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Remembrance, Lost Species and Parenthood

Remembrance, Lost Species and Parenthood

On November 30 is Remembrance Day for Lost Species. On this day we remember – in public or private, quietly or through a community celebration – those animal species that no longer inhabit this Earth, and also to find out what we can do to protect those fellow creatures who...

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Follow the Money: from the Province of the Cat

Follow the Money: from the Province of the Cat

In his screenplay for the Oscar winning film “All The President’s Men” William Goldman has the character Deep Throat instruct the two intrepid reporters to “Follow the money.” This is one of narrative fictions great lines and is far more memorable than what real-life Senator Sam Erwin, who was also...

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Pods of Choice: Gaslit Nation, Fakenewscast and All Hail Pod

Pods of Choice: Gaslit Nation, Fakenewscast and All Hail Pod

Each week we showcase the best podcasts we’ve found (send us your suggestions). This week we have three new podcasts to recommend…. First up is Gaslit Nation with American journalists Andrea Chalupa and Sarah Kendzior, in this issue they discuss the aftermath of the Kavanaugh confirmation, the tattered future of...

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Stop and Scrap Universal Credit

Stop and Scrap Universal Credit

Universal Credit goes “full service” in Edinburgh on 28th November. The government’s flagship benefit reform is bringing rising homelessness and soaring foodbank use in its wake. But in the capital, Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, Sisters Uncut, Oficina Precaria and other grass-roots groups are ready to resist… STOP & SCRAP UNIVERSAL...

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The Shoe-Shine Boys

The Shoe-Shine Boys

Singers gotta sing, players gonna play and writers must write. If a person does not follow their passion it normally leads to internal disappointment. For me, writing is something I must do, sometimes it is spontaneous and seems to come from nowhere, the creative flame is lit by some spark...

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Now That’s What I Call Scottish Pop

Now That’s What I Call Scottish Pop

To mark the end of Rip it Up, the National Museum’s exhibition of Scottish pop and rock we’ve compiled a pop quiz, giving you the chance to show off your vast knowledge of obscure and wonderful facts about Caledonia’s unique contribution to music. As prizes, we have 2 copies of...

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2018 a Dictionary

2018 a Dictionary

Each year we gather the neologisms and phrases that have crept into usage from textspeak to slang to political jargon. Some of these terms are clearly cromulent, and many, predictably, swirl out from our empty tech-based world and our weird toxic politics. Some are clearly credible and may nestle into...

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Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber

There’s something unsettling about being ruled-over by people who are clearly dense. We live in a kind of Oligarchy of Morons. It’s well established that many Tories suffer a deficiency of moral values, but growing evidence suggests some of them are also just forensically thick. Liam Fox, Liz Truss, David...

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When Retailers Fail so do Banks

When Retailers Fail so do Banks

It’s well-known that big department stores and retail chains are in financial trouble as a result – mainly but not exclusively – of the trend to internet shopping. What is less appreciated is that the potential fallout goes far beyond the high street. Traditional shopping involves bricks and mortar stores....

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Spycops Scotland, the Scandal Continues

Spycops Scotland, the Scandal Continues

The Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday ruled in the case brought by Tilly Gifford against the UK and Scottish governments. The judge, Lady Carmichael, rejected the claim for the inquiry into undercover police activity to include Scotland. The Judicial Review was brought by Tilly Gifford, a climate activist who...

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Stand Together – Dance Together

Stand Together – Dance Together

Optimo legend Keith McIvor has launched a new anti-fascist music label ‘Against Fascism Tax’ with the aim of releasing ten 12″‘s in 2019. Here’s the statement: “Many small actions combined can have great power, and it is always better to try to do something than to do nothing. I have...

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Degrowth is the radical post-Brexit future the UK needs

Degrowth is the radical post-Brexit future the UK needs

As the Brexit negotiations wrap up and Theresa May’s deal is lambasted by Remainers and Leavers alike, it’s still far from clear what the future holds for the United Kingdom. On March 29 2019, it is due to leave the European Union. Brexit is the first time a member state...

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Conservatives in Scotland and Poverty in the UK

Conservatives in Scotland and Poverty in the UK

The Conservatives in Scotland have been very quiet about UN Special Rapporteur Professor Philip Alston’s findings on poverty in the UK – 1.5 million people are destitute due to the UK Government’s ideological choice to inflict austerity on the most vulnerable – a Government which is run by their party.

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Extinction Rebellion – Scotland Launch

Extinction Rebellion – Scotland Launch

Systems Collapse Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an acknowledgement that our system has failed, catastrophically. It has delivered us a society where poverty has been institutionalised and the poor are punished, where our health and education systems are being shredded by neo-liberalism, where the media has been captured by oligarchs and...

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The John Maclean March

The John Maclean March

Glasgow musician and broadcaster Gavin Paterson and musical colleague Alan Smart are spearheading a drive to commemorate the centenary of the release from prison of the Marxist school teacher and ‘Red Clydeside’ revolutionary leader John Maclean. The planned events include both a ‘re-inauguration’ of the Hamish Henderson song The John...

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Labour for Indy?

Labour for Indy?

With Theresa May flailing on Brexit and the UK government in crisis, the prospect of another general election is increasingly likely. In such a scenario, Scottish independence will inevitably return to the agenda. Labour’s position on the issue remains firm, but is there scope for it to change? Jonathan Rimmer...

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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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