Breakaway: The rise and fall of the European Super League
Breakaway: The rise and fall of the European Super League Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, April 21st 2021 What has been the big media story so far this week? Not COVID, not Boris Johnson’s many scandals, or even the George Floyd trial in the US. Rather, by far the biggest story media-wise has been the announcement of the European Super League – with some of the continent’s biggest football names announcing their intention to join together in a league which would make them an even more out of touch elite, before the fans rebelled and the powers to be had
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What will art, culture and sport look like after the virus?
What will art, culture and sport look like after the virus? Gerry Hassan Sunday National, April 26th 2020 The UK economy and life as we know it are undergoing the kind of fundamental shock the like of which we have never seen in living memory. The only comparisons of similar economic and human carnage in peacetime are of the depression of 1920-21 and Great Depression at the end of the 1920s. Literally we are living through what Naomi Klein called ‘the shock doctrine’ of ‘disaster capitalism’ at a vastly accelerated pace. All of this raises questions about what life will
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There is an Alternative: Another World is Possible
There is an Alternative: Another World is Possible Gerry Hassan Sunday National, March 22nd 2020 The world is in flux, filled with uncertainty, confusion, panic and fear where many, if not all, of the assumptions that have defined politics are now open for challenge. Many things are still unclear but one certainty is that the dominant global economic model of recent decades is now being openly questioned. The Financial Times Sebastian Payne talked this week about ‘the ideology of last week’ –meaning the assumptions of the past four decades politically. There are still numerous voices clinging to the wreckage of
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The World Turned Upside Down: Goodbye to Thatcherism
The World Turned Upside Down: Goodbye to Thatcherism Gerry Hassan Sunday National, March 15th 2020 The Tory budget marked a dramatic change in tone, content and politics from what we have become used to. The language of active government, investment and public spending saw UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak make commitments to an extra £30 billion in public spending. This raises questions about Boris Johnson’s government, the Tories, UK politics, and whether this change is superficial, tactical, or something more long lasting? And what, if any, are the consequences for Scotland and independence? It is now widely accepted that ten years
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My Favourite Books of 2019
My Favourite Books of 2019 Gerry Hassan December 22nd 2019 This is a list of my favourite books of the year. It is the fifth year in a row I have done this – and undertaken separate book and music lists – the latter coming in the next day. It is a totally subjective and idiosyncratic list: made up things I have read, come across, been involved in or inspired by and which have stopped me and made me think. The biggest reason I do these lists is for my own enjoyment: looking back and reflecting on reading and listening,
Men Behaving Badly: Boris Johnson, Prince Andrew and Trump
Men Behaving Badly: Boris Johnson, Prince Andrew and Trump Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, November 19th 2019 Boris Johnson in the past week has seen his Tory fortunes soar. This was in a week when Johnson belatedly went and spoke to the people affected by the Yorkshire floods and faced their anger. In the same period, he struggled to answer why he might be ‘relatable’; avoided giving a straight reply to that well-known killer question, ‘how many children do you have?’, and with wider consequences for our politics professed to not know the number of Russian oligarchs who fund the Tory
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The World Has Been Turned Upside Down: The End of the Era of Robber Baron Capitalism
The World Has Been Turned Upside Down: The End of the Era of Robber Baron Capitalism Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, January 24th 2018 The world has been turned upside down in the last few weeks. Ten years after the banking crash showed that the economic assumptions which shaped most of our lives were bogus, along has come the collapse of Carillion, the biggest outsourcing company in the UK. The taking of the public out of public services has been a long war of attrition which has been waged by all the mainstream Westminster parties. It hasn’t improved public services
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What do we do with our lives and dreams after shopping?
What do we do with lives and dreams after shopping? Gerry Hassan The Scotsman, January 19th 2012 Another tottering titan fell this week with HMV going into administration. It is the latest in a long line of retail closures: Jessops, Blockbusters, Comet, JJB Sports. This is part of a powerful challenge to the high street, to Britain’s sense of itself and its town centres, and in the case of HMV, the music industry, coming after the closure of Virgin, Zavvi and Tower Records. These stories are usually imbued with a golden sense of nostalgia, people fondly remembering their youth and
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After Rage against the Machine: The Search for an Alternative
After Rage against the Machine: The Search for an Alternative Gerry Hassan The Scotsman, July 2nd 2011 The return of mass public sector strikes; British living standards experiencing their biggest fall since 1977; the escalating Greek debt crisis; the shaky future of the eurozone and European project in doubt. These are just some of the headlines this week. All across the West governments are cutting public spending, services and benefits, and privatising and marketising what were once seen as public goods. Many governments are enduring significant unpopularity and even questions of legitimacy. They face publics uneasy, unsure and resistant
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