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 Scotland’s big independence debate is about and should be about
What Scotland’s big independence debate is about and should be about Gerry Hassan Bella Caledonia, 15 June 2022 Nicola Sturgeon has fired the gun on Scotland’s independence debate, standing in Bute House yesterday with Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, launching the first of several papers on independence. This has brought forth the usual and predictable claims and counter-claims. SNP, Green and independence supporters are excited and hopeful; Labour, Tories and Lib Dems along with pro-union advocates of no party are filled with scorn and fury that anyone would want to progress independence in such times of upheaval and
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What independence has to do to win
What independence has to do to win Gerry Hassan The National, 14 June 2022 The Scottish Government will make an important announcement on independence today; one long awaited by independence supporters. It has long been apparent that the 2014 offer needs not just updating but completely revising and that serious, substantive work needs to be done. Fundamental to this is not just the usual suspects mentioned – currency, borders, finance, EU membership – but the issue of how independence embodies and champions democracy. The independence offer is often portrayed by its supporters as personifying democracy in principle – Scotland’s right
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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Singing for Scotland at Hampden, Murrayfield and Beyond
Singing for Scotland at Hampden, Murrayfield and Beyond Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 9 February 2022 The songs that we sing individually and collectively in our hearts, homes and at public occasions tell us something - about who we are, our relationships with each other, and the society and nation we live in. There are numerous different layers to this. There are the songs we sing and hum along to on the radio or on streaming devices; the golden oldies that remind us of favourite or not so favourite past moments; and then there are the collective songs we sing together
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Time for a Genuine Tartan Tory Party!
Time for a Genuine Tartan Tory Party! Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 19 January 2022 The Scottish Tories have had a shoogly past week. Douglas Ross, Scottish Tory leader, dared to put his head above the parapet and say the unthinkable - that Boris Johnson was long past his sell-by-date and should for once do the decent thing and resign. He was subsequently followed by the entire group of Tory MSPs at Holyrood; while former Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson was even more indignant and incandescent with fury. This was met by Jacob Rees-Mogg calling Douglas Ross ‘a lightweight’ and even
Is this an elegy for the end of Britain?
Is this an elegy for the end of Britain? Gerry Hassan The National, 11 January 2022 The UK is in serious crisis – a malaise that affects its politics, political elite, system, and the ethos and practices by which they govern, act and think. That much is obvious to anyone studying the descent of Britain. But what is rare is for this to be spoken about openly and candidly, clearly directed at those who have produced this sorry mess. Tom McTague’s essay in The Atlantic magazine, “How Britain Falls Apart?” last week showed insight and honesty along with a
The rise, fall and rise of party and movement and the changing idea of Scotland
The rise, fall and rise of party and movement and the changing idea of Scotland Gerry Hassan Bella Caledonia, 7 January 2022 Review of The National Movement in Scotland, Jack Brand, Routledge The SNP have been in existence for a long time and a serious electoral force since the 1960s. But at the same time there have been few studies of the party that have contextualised it within the wider nationalist movement and the changing nature of Scotland, and that have attempted to analyse and understand the dynamics of this relationship. The National Movement in Scotland by the late Jack
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Scotland needs to learn the lessons of how we defeated Margaret Thatcher
Scotland needs to learn the lessons of how we defeated Margaret Thatcher Gerry Hassan The National, 28 December 2021 Margaret Thatcher looms large in the history of modern Scotland. Her minority rule of Scotland, her dogma and indifference to hardship and suffering, her English nationalism wrapped in the flag of the Union Jack: all this and more irritated an overwhelming majority of Scots. She did change history here, although not in ways she intended. She underlined that the old union of compromise was broken; she weakened the strength of the unionist case; and she was a handmaiden in creating the
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Scottish independence needs to offer “a shining city on a hill”
Scottish independence needs to offer “a shining city on a hill” Gerry Hassan The National, 14 December 2021 Scottish politics feels once again stuck in a Groundhog Day. We are only seven months from the endorsement of the SNP in the May elections, and only weeks from the English political commentariat being convinced that Boris Johnson was a sure-fire winner who would continue to carry all before him. Things that seem secure can suddenly change and crumble. Yet there is currently low-level trench warfare in Scottish politics as the forces of the union and independence psyche each other out, waiting
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