Independence is not about process politics. It is about democracy
Independence is not about process politics. It is about democracy. Gerry Hassan The National, 21 June 2022 The air is thick with talk of referenda. How one is held, its status, who can initiate it and has to agree to it, and the timetable indicated by Nicola Sturgeon and Angus Robertson of October 2023. All of this is to be expected but what it misses is several-fold. This all concentrates on process rather than substance, misses the big picture here of democracy, and overlooks the nuances of public opinion. There is significant popular support for the principle of Scotland’s right
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What is missing from Scottish politics, the SNP and independence and can we rectify it?
What is missing from Scottish politics, the SNP and independence and can we rectify it? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 16 February 2022 What are the main characteristics of Scottish politics? Fifteen years into SNP Government the party is still popular; the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has ratings any incumbent could only dream of having. Yet underneath this, things don’t quite seem right. There is a stillness across Scottish politics and public life. For a start there is no credible opposition to the SNP. The Tories under Douglas Ross just don’t cut it; while Labour under Anas Sarwar might have a
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Seven years of Nicola Sturgeon and resolving the tensions between party and movement
Seven years of Nicola Sturgeon and resolving the tensions between party and movement Gerry Hassan The National, 23 November 2021 Nicola Sturgeon has been First Minister and SNP leader for seven years. This formidable achievement is part of a bigger picture of the SNP’s emergence as the dominant party, the rise of independence, and the relationship of the Nationalists to the wider independence movement. This is an appropriate time for reflection and assessment not just of her leadership but of the wider context in which it sits. Specifically of the SNP as a party and its record in office, and
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Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon: A Tale of Two Very Different Leaders and Parties
Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon: A Tale of Two Very Different Leaders and Parties Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 15 September 2021 Last weekend the world marked 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, while many of us were absorbed in the birth of a new British tennis star, Emma Raducanu, as she sensationally won the US Open on Saturday evening at the age of eighteen. There were also the rival attractions of the annual conference of the SNP, this year held online, and the inaugural conference of Alex Salmond’s Alba Party in Greenock Town Hall. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon
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The Alex Salmond Scandal and its Aftermath
The Alex Salmond Scandal and its Aftermath Gerry Hassan Bella Caledonia, 9 September 2021 Break-Up: How Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon Went to War, David Clegg and Kieran Andrews, Biteback Publishing, £20. Scottish politics has been transfixed the past three years by the fallout between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon – the defining figures of the SNP over the past twenty years. This has been a saga like no other - of serious allegations made against Salmond, two court cases and judgements, a parliamentary inquiry and independent review, all of which have created huge political waves and turbulence which have
Wake Up Scotland: 1,339 and counting ….
Wake Up Scotland: 1,339 and counting …. Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, August 4th 2021 Last week the tragic milestone that is Scotland’s drug death total for the year ending 2020 came out. The figures showed that 1,339 people died, a rise of 5.9% on the previous year’s bad enough total of 1,264. This is up from 455 in 2007, the year the SNP came to power- a staggering increase of 194% in the drug-related mortality rate over their time in office. This is the highest annual number of drug deaths recorded in Scotland since records began in 1996, and the
Glasgow’s future after COVID
Glasgow’s future after COVID Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, June 2nd 2021 Glasgow it was announced this week would finally come out of Level 3 restrictions. By Friday Scotland’s biggest city will have endured 277 days of severe limitations on our freedoms that have come at an increasingly cost to the people and fabric of the city – the only place in the UK where people could not meet their friends in their homes, hug friends and relatives, or travel out of the city. It has begun to feel like a city under siege, where the pressures and restrictions have really
What do we do about Rangers?
What do we do about Rangers? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, May 19th 2021 Glasgow Rangers FC have returned to the top of the football game in Scotland. At the same time twice in the spate of two months a section of their fanbase (small but incredibly visible) have trashed parts of Glasgow - engaging in hooliganism, thuggery and violence in George Square and its surrounds. What the above events show is something toxic at the heart of Rangers and a section of their support, along with wider collusion and a malaise in the football authorities. Beyond this there is a
Europe puts a light on for Scotland
Europe puts a light on for Scotland Gerry Hassan Sunday National, May 2nd 2021 Remember in 2014 Scotland was told: “What is [the] process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting Yes.” Now the same voices tell us that Scotland becoming an EU member is too difficult – the supposed ‘queue’ for membership, EU terms and spectre of a ‘Spanish veto’. Yet large parts of Europe have not forgotten that Scotland voted to remain a European nation - and part of the EU - in the 2016 vote, and still has the desire to be a self-governing EU nation. An initiative
What has gone wrong with Scottish politics and democracy?
What has gone wrong with Scottish politics and democracy? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, February 24th 2021 There is a feeling of crisis across Scottish politics and democracy. Partly this is the sense of decay and drift in the SNP with infighting, divisions and lack of trust between senior figures in the party; amplified by the Salmond-Sturgeon implosion. But there is more at play both in the SNP and public life, which points to things not being quite right in politics and democracy. All across political life there is now a hyper-adversarial nature - not just between, but within parties –
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