The union case needs to deal with the return of the British Empire State
The union case needs to deal with the return of the British Empire State Gerry Hassan The National, 7 December 2021 The UK may have been around a fair amount of time but it has never been static; always changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. While many UK supporters repeat the great thread of British history, the current UK borders only date from 1922 and the aftermath of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 (its centenary on Monday) while the current name - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland –became legally adopted in 1927. Despite this,
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The ‘F’ word rears its head again: Federalism and Labour
The ‘F’ word rears its head again: Federalism and Labour Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, March 13th 2019 One political principle unites not just the Labour Party from Jeremy Corbyn to Tom Watson but also the Conservative Party - from Theresa May to the most ultra-Brexiteers in the Jacob Rees-Mogg faction. That principle is a belief in parliamentary sovereignty: which for all its elevated sound actually means the right of governments to do what they like and not be bound by things like the rule of law, human rights or what previous administrations have done. It is of course a
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How do we have a Genuine People’s Democracy?
How do we have a Genuine People’s Democracy? Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, January 25th 2015 It was UK Democracy Day last week - 800 years since Magna Carta. And on the same day of the announcement that the Chilcot inquiry on the Iraq war would not be published until after the May general election - hardly an advert for British democracy. Then it was the debate about the on-off TV election debates. Was Cameron or Miliband more chicken? Will the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens finally get their place on the UK platform? There was also the publication
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What happened to the Spirit of 2014?
What happens to the Spirit of 2014? Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, December 21st 2014 It has been an action packed 2014. Scotland’s year has witnessed drama, theatre and spectacle: the Commonwealth Games, First World War anniversaries, the Ryder Cup, and of course, the Big Day in September - the independence referendum. Scotland voted to stay in the union for now, but changed in the process, became more self-confident and more sure in its capacity to self-govern itself. The UK political classes seemed less sure-footed by the day. The spirit of 2014 witnessed the greatest democratic expression of Scots ever seen
Mr. Smith Comes to Town
Mr. Smith Comes to Town Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, November 30th 2014 The Smith Commission arose out of last minute panic by the pro-union parties in the independence referendum as the polls swung against them in the last few days. This produced ‘the Vow’, Gordon Brown’s whirlwind tour, and the three Westminster party leaders rushing north. Such ill-concealed panic rarely produces good politics, and so it has proven with the Smith report. It isn’t all black and white. Smith represents simultaneously the best and worst of Scottish traditions. On the plus there is the no nonsense getting down to serious
What do we do about the United Kingdom? And Why Federalism isn’t the Answer
What do we do we do about the United Kingdom? And Why Federalism isn’t the Answer Gerry Hassan Open Democracy, July 4th 2014 In the last few weeks political debate has become filled with talk of the possibility of a federal United Kingdom. This has come not surprisingly exclusively from pro-union voices. There was Tory MSP Murdo Fraser’s recent thoughtful speech, David Torrance’s short book on British wide federalism, and even former Prime Minister Gordon Brown mulling over the subject. Murdo Fraser in his Reform Scotland talk said that ‘federalism within the UK, if it were workable and could be
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