The lessons and warning from New Labour
The lessons and warning from New Labour Gerry Hassan The National, 26 October 2021 The spectre of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and New Labour may seem a long time ago given the mess the UK is in, but their period of dominance still casts a long shadow over British politics and offers lessons and warnings for the present. The new BBC five-part series: “Blair and Brown: The New Labour Revolution” is a major political documentary with all the main players - including Blair and Brown, Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson - present and correct. This is “big beast”, Westminster-focused, insider
Keir Starmer, Labour and the Limits of Gordon Brown’s Britain
Keir Starmer, Labour and the Limits of Gordon Brown’s Britain Gerry Hassan Sunday National, 3 October 2021 The state of Labour matters in UK politics - and to Scotland. Can it mount a serious challenge to Boris Johnson’s Tories, or does UK politics faces the bleak prospect of perpetual Tory Governments? Thus, the mood of Labour at its recent conference and after has consequences. The party gathering at Brighton was filled with drama, controversy - and heckling. In his lengthy keynote speech Starmer covered subjects including Scotland, the SNP, and the case for the union – citing Gordon Brown and
Continue Reading Keir Starmer, Labour and the Limits of Gordon Brown’s Britain
Gordon Brown and how to heal broken Britain
Gordon Brown and how to heal broken Britain Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, January 27th 2021 Gordon Brown is coming to the rescue again - raising the alarm, saying that the UK is in danger of becoming a ‘failed union’ unless there is dramatic change. This is the same Gordon Brown who was centrestage in the latter stages of the indyref and pivotal to ‘The Vow’, and who promised a ‘near-federal union’ for the UK within two years of 2014. Before that he was at the apex of New Labour - as Chancellor, then Prime Minister, over thirteen years. Gordon Brown
Continue Reading Gordon Brown and how to heal broken Britain
A Tour Inside Gordon Brown’s Britain
A Tour Inside Gordon Brown’s Britain Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, November 25th 2020 Gordon Brown in recent times has increasingly recognised that something is wrong, even rotten, in the state of Britain, regularly talking about ‘a dysfunctional UK’. This is part of Brown’s continual manoeuvres post-2014 to have a say in the future of Britain’s constitutional arrangements and to make the case that the status quo increasingly ill-serves the nations and regions of the UK. Thus it comes as no surprise that he has taken pen to paper and written a substantial New Statesman essay that makes his case of
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
Continue Reading The World Has Been Turned Upside Down: The End of the Era of Robber Baron Capitalism
Gordon Brown: The Ghost in the Machine
Gordon Brown: The Ghost in the Machine Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, November 14th 2017 Gordon Brown, like him or loath him, was a titan of a figure in British politics for close on two decades. Along now comes Brown’s attempt at putting his case and a call for understanding and redemption in his autobiography - ‘My Life, Our Times’. It comes with much baggage for all who will read and encounter it, including from the author himself who goes through the pretense that he had to be reluctantly dragged into writing it, explaining himself: ‘For me, being conspicuously demonstrative is
The Myth of the Great Leader: Gordon Brown, Jimmy Reid and Alex Salmond
The Myth of the Great Leader: Gordon Brown, Jimmy Reid and Alex Salmond Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, September 1st 2016 The times they-are-a-changing. There is a tangible feeling in the air of discontent, anger and bewilderment. People feel let down and cheated by the multiple powers that be. It isn’t surprising then that there is a palpable sense of national nostalgia depicted on TV – remakes fill the screens (Are You Being Served?, Porridge), while period dramas (Downton Abbey) or endless documentaries on World War Two and the Nazis are hugely popular. The left aren’t immune to this either –
Continue Reading The Myth of the Great Leader: Gordon Brown, Jimmy Reid and Alex Salmond
The Great British Economic Miracle is an Illusion
The Great British Economic Miracle is an Illusion Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, January 31st 2016 Something is wrong with the British economy. George Osborne seems to be experiencing his own ‘Boom and Bust’. Just before Christmas he was singing the joys of the British economy on the mend. Yet a few weeks later he changed his tone talking of the uncertain economic times. He hasn’t had to look too far for his troubles - from the tax credits’ chaos where he had to do a U-turn, to this week’s judgement that the bedroom tax was illegal and discriminated against
Continue Reading The Great British Economic Miracle is an Illusion
Who is the real Gordon Brown and Why It Matters?
Who is the Real Gordon Brown and Why It Matters? Gerry Hassan The Scotsman, August 3rd 2013 Gordon Brown dominated Scottish politics for several decades. Now gone from the stage, he has only left memories and the issue of his legacy. Brown is a fascinating figure - a very public person, but private; moral in his deliberations yet filled with caution; supposedly radical but profoundly conservative. Kevin Toolis’s new play ‘Confessions of Gordon Brown’ (on at the Pleasance during the Festival) attempts to get inside the mind and psyche of Brown. This is a potent idea and something writers
Continue Reading Who is the real Gordon Brown and Why It Matters?
Is Scotland Really the Social Democratic Country It Prociaims?
Is Scotland Really the Social Democratic Country It Proclaims? Gerry Hassan The Scotsman, August 18th 2012 There is a widespread assumption across most if not all of Scotland that this is a land of the centre-left; that we don’t vote Tory, didn’t buy into Thatcherism, and that we are all the children of social democracy. Leaving aside the Scottish Social Attitudes Surveys on Scots/English differences (which show there aren’t that big differences), there is a prevalent belief that centre-left, left and collectivist values percolate through and define our society. Some voices on the left believe that they speak for
Continue Reading Is Scotland Really the Social Democratic Country It Prociaims?