The Queen’s role in politics is one of the last remnants of feudalismGerry HassanSunday National, September 15th 2019 The Queen has been publicly involved in politics in the past few weeks on an unprecedented scale. There has been Boris Johnson’s suspension of the UK Parliament, the nature of his advice to the Queen, the Court of Session judgement calling his actions ‘unlawful’, followed by Johnson saying when asked if he mislead the monarch: ‘absolutely not’. The Queen is the public front of an intricate, complex institution called ‘the Crown’. As any watchers of the Netflix series of the
The death of British conservatism as we have known itGerry HassanScottish Review, September 11th 2019 British conservatism has been one of the most successful political philosophies and political parties the world has ever known. As we speak it is engaged in the latter stages of its thirty year civil war on Europe, which has convulsed the party, bringing it to a state of near self-destruction, abandoning its traditional tenets and debasing constitutional norms that for most of its history have been its raison d’etre. Whatever happens on Brexit in the next few months and years, much will have
Boris Johnson and the art of self-deceptionGerry HassanSunday National, September 8th 2019 Boris Johnson has long had a problematic relationship with the truth. When a journalist, he was fired from ‘The Times’ for making up a quote; in the last month as UK Prime Minister he stated that he was in favour of proroguing Parliament when he publicly said he was against it, claimed to be against having an election he was planning and then for holding a contest, and saying that he is negotiating a Brexit deal with the EU, while preparing for a No Deal Brexit.
Britain is in a mess: Is a different democracy possible?Gerry HassanScottish Review, September 4th 2019 Nearly everyone now agrees that British politics isn’t working - and that our political system, politicians and Parliament are in a mess and broken. Even more than this, our economic system and social contract have long ago become frayed, discredited and stopped working for the interests of the vast majority of people. This is the context in which the country is convulsed by Brexit. Everywhere people are talking, thinking and worrying about it. Out on a Saturday night in a local Indian restaurant
The Rise and Fall of Ruth Davidson, Brexit and the Future of the UnionGerry HassanOpen Democracy, August 30th 2019 Ruth Davidson has been a very successful politician in one inarguable aspect. As Scottish Tory leader she was continually spoken about, commented upon and discussed in the mainstream media and, often in non-Tory circles, in a positive light. After eight years as Tory leader in Scotland Davidson has decided that she wants to quit, for reasons both personal and political. She is 40 years old, with a new child, Finn, and plans to marry her partner Jen in the
Jeremy Corbyn’s Moment of Reckoning and the Fears of the British Establishment Gerry HassanSunday National, August 25th 2019 Next week another critical Brexit moment happens when Jeremy Corbyn calls together all the opposition parties at Westminster, to plan to win a vote of no confidence against Boris Johnson’s government to stop a No Deal Brexit. Jeremy Corby has offered to lead a temporary minority government that would aim to extend the Article 50 notice period, hold an election and referendum. This is high stake politics, with the nature of Brexit, the future of political parties and leaders, as
What should we talk about to make Scotland a place we are proud to call home?Gerry HassanScottish Review, August 7th 2019 There is only one subject on the lips of many this week: independence and Michael Ashcroft’s 52:48 poll. This is the Scotland of 2019 - twenty years of the Scottish Parliament, five years since the indyref, nine years of Tory-led government, and with less than 90 days to the prospect of a ‘No Deal Brexit’. We have also had twelve years of SNP Government. Once upon a time its admirers talked of its competence and sure touch,
The Brexit Crisis and Problem with Absolute Sovereignty: From the loss of the American Colonies and Ireland to BrexitGerry HassanBella Caledonia, July 26th 2019 Britain is not only in crisis but under Boris Johnson’s new hardline Brexit government is heading for the rocks and disaster at turbo-charged speed. Yet with wall-to-wall mainstream media commentary on all things Brexit and Boris Johnson, a number of key characteristics are missing. The first is any understanding that Brexit is nearly entirely an English phenomenon and not only that but an expression of virulent, reactionary English nationalism. Secondly is the unpalatable reality