Red and Yellow Maps

Red and Yellow Maps

So the Twitter project @ElectionMapsUK has become a big success with a series of great graphics and political factoids. This week this one went viral purporting to show “How the next general election would look if only 18-24s were allowed to vote”. It was of course a sea of red...

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Salmond and the shadow of Scottish masculinity

Salmond and the shadow of Scottish masculinity

The topic of Scottish masculinity has been done to death, its every whim shaken down to be scrutinised in minute detail. Post-industrial or old romantic, the slighted Scottish male stares at you from a thousand well thumbed set texts on the Scottish curriculum.

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Indyref 2: Aulder, Wiser, Kinder

Indyref 2: Aulder, Wiser, Kinder

“So many things I had thought forgotten Return to my mind with stranger pain: Like letters that arrive addressed to someone Who left the house so many years ago.

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Life Aquatic

Life Aquatic

As the light flashes on the very precise figures for Scotland to reach its climate change obligations – and the companies needing to be divested away from immediately, focus turns also to the disastrous state of our lochs rivers and seas. Never mind the tragi-comic ‘War on Plastics’ (see also...

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In a Hole?

In a Hole?

THE world’s central bankers – who oversee the global monetary system – have just returned from their annual Druid’s conclave at the US ski resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. One ostentatiously absent face was Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. Carney also gave Jackson Hole a miss last...

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Another Soarway Success for the Festival

Another Soarway Success for the Festival

As punters nurse sore heads and a few companies count their profits, the Edinburgh Festival comes to a close, and surprise surprise it’s been a huge success. How do we know? Because it never is anything but a huge success!

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If No One Helps

If No One Helps

Somewhere on the Highlands route between Edinburgh and my hard to heat but hard to hate little crooked house a few crooked miles from Beauly, a lane-changing white van, conforming to the stereotype, bobbed in and out of my rear view mirror as it threaded through the competition, flashing headlights...

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Cool Scots and Banal Unionism

Cool Scots and Banal Unionism

As another Edinburgh Festival season draws to an end (despite the best efforts of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Marketing Team and the Ross Development Trust), it is worth pausing to take stock of the place of Scottish culture within this gaudy jamboree. For those prepared to push through the...

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Media Failure in an Age of Disinformation

Media Failure in an Age of Disinformation

In a week in which the President of the United states lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said: “the truth is not the truth” it’s worth reflecting on a recent history of media failure. The examples go way beyond the relentless smears and attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, or the dreary miserablism of...

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Bella Magazine

Bella Magazine

With the changing landscape of the Scottish media we are unable to continue our monthly print supplement in collaboration with the National. We are glad to have created a magazine which we hoped to deepen and broaden the debates and issues addressed in Scottish media and to profile so many...

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Leith Creative Responds

Leith Creative Responds

This is a right of reply by Morvern Cunningham and Duncan Bremner. We are aware that our work has been recently questioned in an article in Bella Caledonia written by Stephen Pritchard, a Newcastle based artist and recent graduate from the University of Northumbria (‘Who Pays the Piper, Artwashing and...

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Banking on Ourselves

Banking on Ourselves

Next month sees the first of the SNP’s internal assemblies to discuss Andrew Wilson’s Growth Report. Andrew will appear in person to justify his strange dismissal of a separate Scottish currency following independence. For the record, I don’t think the Growth Report is some secret, pro-austerity manual.

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Energising Scotland – Introducing the ECO

Energising Scotland – Introducing the ECO

There is perhaps no more crucial or contentious subject in the debate about Scottish independence than the subject of Scotland’s currency. There is nothing new about this: as long ago as 1705, in the run up to the 1707 Act of Union, John Law – the remarkable Scottish adventurer, gambler...

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The Stag and the Blade

The Stag and the Blade

I went for a long walk last year. My first since marriage, parenthood, middle-age. There have been other solo trips – day walks and the odd weekend – but this was different: a chance to walk without timetables or the need for a swift return; without responsibility for anyone but...

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Ten Levels of Doom

Ten Levels of Doom

Do you feel it too? The hopelessness that seems to grow every day? Level upon level of it, mounting, hand in hand with the realisation of how little agency we have over pretty much anything. It’s clear there is no escape, unless you’re one of those space barons, funding your...

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Top Thirty Toxic Tories

Top Thirty Toxic Tories

No political party is perfect. They all have their idiots and bigots to deal with. There’s always that one uncle or step-sister which drives people insane, but they’re family, so what can you do? But in Scotland the Tory family is different. They don’t have just a few idiots to...

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Festival City Questions Remain

Festival City Questions Remain

When we wrote last week about the state of the festival and the impact Over Tourism was having we got a huge response, but also a lot of criticism. It seemed to both tap into feeling of alienation and frustration with the failure of the management of the city –...

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Vi är Sverige

Vi är Sverige

The Stockholm summers of ‘94 and ‘18 have quite a few similarities. Sweden’s capital was basking in the hottest weather on record, its national football team was exceeding expectations in the world cup and the country was building up for crucial elections.

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On Identity

On Identity

This is the second extract from the Freedom Papers, a collaboration between Gutter Magazine and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Afua Hirsch is a writer, journalist and broadcaster. She is a columnist for the Guardian, and a presenter on current affairs debate shows The Pledge on Sky News and Talk...

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On Freedom

On Freedom

This is the first extract from the Freedom Papers, a collaboration between Gutter Magazine and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Yaba Badoe is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer, whose short stories have been published in Critical Quarterly and African Love Stories: an Anthology.

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Can Scotland’s Parliament be persuaded to champion Regional Agency?

Can Scotland’s Parliament be persuaded to champion Regional Agency?

When the Scottish Parliament begins Stage 2 of the consideration of the Planning (Scotland) Bill in mid-September, one of the issues for debate will be the future of strategic planning. The Scottish Government intends that the Bill should remove the statutory requirement to prepare strategic development plans for the four...

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Kenneth White, 1968 and Geopoetics

Kenneth White, 1968 and Geopoetics

Kenneth White was in Scotland at the end of May for a series of talks, film screenings, poetry readings and lectures, organised by the Research Network in Existential Philosophy and Literature in collaboration with the Institut Francais, Alliance Francais Glasgow and the University of Glasgow. White is a poet and...

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The Wilder Shores, Part 2: Ships, Trains, Tourists

The Wilder Shores, Part 2: Ships, Trains, Tourists

I Scotland needs ways in which a fast-growing number of sea tourists can be given all-weather, secure, environmentally-friendly ways of spending ‘shore time’ with us – so that they can gain a ‘sampler’ of the place that makes them want to come back, and invest, andlivehere.

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The Wilder Shores, Part 1

The Wilder Shores, Part 1

At the end of 2015 Rupert Murdoch got his claws into National Geographic – not always successful as a ‘journal of science’, but it tried … and seemed latterly to be on a learning curve. Earlier that year, on 15 May I became about the last of its ‘Global Vision...

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Monster: From The Province of the Cat

Monster: From The Province of the Cat

Halfway through Suetonius’s biography of Caligula (12 – 41 AD) there comes a turning point, where he says, “So much for Gaius the Emperor; the rest of this history must needs deal with Gaius the Monster.” All Summer long I have been searching for a way to make sense out...

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Your Leid, Oor Leid, Awbody’s Leid

Your Leid, Oor Leid, Awbody’s Leid

Sara Clark revels in the richness of Scots (daurklins, drumly, glog, mirkie an wan lit …) . The first time ah realised there wis sic a thing as Scots, ah wis oan a date o sorts, at a Hawick Royal Albert match.

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Slave to the Algorithm

Slave to the Algorithm

Brexit and Trump are children – simultaneously bastard and legitimate – of algorithmicism. It doesn’t take much of a cognitive leap to see how Facebook algorithms helped dumbly to herd and loop-amplify the populist bile that gave birth to those phenomena, argues D.J. MacLennan.

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Artwash, Over-Tourism and Edinburgh

Artwash, Over-Tourism and Edinburgh

The image of Edinburgh’s central park – Princes Street Gardens – blacked out and blocked off – has acted as a trigger for many people concerned with the phenomenon known globally as “over-tourism” – where a place becomes so saturated with visitors that it undermines the very nature of the...

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