Progressive politics has to talk about class and race, and challenge the false divisions of the rightGerry HassanThe National, 24 May 2022 These are divisive times in politics and public life; strident voices stoking division are all around. Many of them tell us that the age we live is shaped by “culture wars” and “cancel culture”. Cheap talk is everywhere - surrounded by noise, charge and counter-charge. New media platforms like Rupert Murdoch’s Talk TV assist loud men such as Piers Morgan to broadcast their ill-informed opinions to the world – even when there is next to no
A Different Class: Choose Your Side Gerry HassanSunday National, February 21st 2021 Class is one of the defining concepts of life, Scotland and capitalism – but barely receives much informed analysis on our TV screens. Instead, we are offered unstated but loaded assumptions in news, TV documentaries and countless other programmes, with a distinct bias on how success, aspiration and failure are seen and judged. In today’s environment Darren McGarvey’s Class Wars – a new four-part series on BBC Scotland - is a breath of fresh air; the first two of which have been aired. This is in
The Birth Pains of Scottish Democracy and the Anguish of ‘Posh Scotland’Gerry HassanScottish Review, February 26th 2014 Many strange things will be written about Scotland this year. Some will be uncomprehending, some inappropriate or wrong, with others likely to be malevolent and wishing to sew seeds of confusion or distrust. One existing strand is the pain expressed by some English media voices. There is the liberal ‘Guardian’ reading classes, some of whom have just bothered in the last few weeks to look north from their cosmopolitan concerns and to plea, ‘don’t leave us alone with the wicked Tories’.
The continuing relevance of solidarity and classGerry HassanThe Scotsman, November 16th 2013 Scotland has been informed by the experiences and memories of working class life and culture since the time of the industrial revolution. A majority of Scots see themselves as working class and more people do now than over a generation ago in 1979. In a strange turn of affairs, being working class post-crash is all the rage nowadays. It might not be the sixties when being working class was associated with the age of meritocracy and tearing down the old elites, but change is in
Fear and Loathing and the Power of Class in Modern BritainGerry HassanThe Scotsman, October 8th 2011 Britain has changed dramatically since 1945. In most accounts of post-war Britain from populisers such as Andrew Marr – the confident tale told is of the forward march of the classless society. There were the 1950s and ‘you’ve never had it so good’ affluence, the 1960s protest and music, the 1980s individualism and consumerism, and then the noughties and the property and credit card booms. This is the BBC-Ladybird Book guide to modern Britain heard in phrases such as ‘we are