How do we have public conversations in the age of rage?Gerry HassanScottish Review, August 15th 2018 Has the world of politics and public life ever been so messed up? And at a time of global confusion, disruption and challenge when intelligent politics is more needed than ever before. British politics in the last week has seen stormy arguments over the rights and wrongs of Tory Boris Johnson and his comments about Muslim women wearing the burka. At the same time, Labour’s discomfort and problems over anti-semitism, which I wrote about last week, refuses to go away, continuing to
Scotland’s Democratic Revolution is Long OverdueGerry HassanThe Scotsman, September 15th 2012 Scottish devolution was always going to produce centralisation, such as the Procurement Reform Bill along with single police and fire forces, and at the same time the rhetoric of change seen in the current Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill. It is over a year since the publication of the Christie Commission and as financial circumstances tighten, never has the time been more ripe for radical reform. One approach is already on offer: the English marketisation route beloved by Andrew Lansley when he was at health; an alternative
Whatever happened to Scotland’s Salon Society?Gerry HassanThe Scotsman, February 5th 2011 One of the early hopes of the Scottish Parliament and the era of ‘new politics’ was that Scotland would awaken to a new age of engagement which would produce a more informed, inclusive politics. A lot of this was wish-fulfilment; certainly much of the talk of ‘new politics’ and an emboldened civil society was just that. Yet at the same time this feeling tapped a sense that Scotland could sustain a kind of salon society – a modern day harking back to the Enlightenment vision of Edinburgh.